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- Check out the Neuromuscular Centre near Chester. They run a commercially successful design and print company as part of their business model. Great stuff....Aug 27, 2012
- Graham - thanks for this - i will make a point of looking them upAug 27, 2012
- How many business people regard themselves or admit to being disabled? Most people who are not business entrepreneurs but employees, housewives/husbands, family members, lovers and carers, to name but a few, will not admit to having a disability unless it is obvious. Why do people think that business people will be any different? The majority of people have a hidden sense of guilt when it comes to disability. I know many business people who are disabled but who will not admit it to their peers because they think they are “weak” in their colleagues’ eyes. As many small businesses are ‘one man bands’, admitting that they have a disability may destroy the brand they are trying to create. In the last census in 2001, there were 11.7 million people in this country with a disability. Only 3.6 million of those were wheelchair users, the most obvious ‘in your face’ disability. The majority of disabled people are those with a hearing impairment (8.7 million). There were approximately 1 million sight-impaired people at the 2001 census.
Disability is like an iceberg, 5% above the surface, and 95% below. Those who have a hidden disability fall into many categories such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, learning difficulties and mental health issues. These disabilities are managed everyday by a large number of people and to look at them you would not realise that they have a disability. To say “I have a disability” is a huge statement when you are running your own business and especially if you are a start up and need people’s custom. That is probably why there are insufficient statistics to inform the business world about the numbers of disabled business people.
I have a disability. I don’t mind people knowing because it helps me with my business, as I am an Equality, Diversity, and Disability Consultant. It is part of my job, but for many people it is not in their job description. Any admission may not assist them in getting contracts or picking up business if they admit that they have a weakness in whatever form it may take. Admission of a disability has to be a cultural change and the Paralympics will go a long way towards helping people come out of their shell, but until business people themselves accept that this is not a taboo subject, it will always be difficult to recruit, employ and retain staff or win contracts. It means a sea change in attitudes. After all, disability has been in the public domain since the 1600’s! It has been down to wars ever since to bring disability to the fore. Disabled people are still struggling for recognition as useful members of society. Give them the right tools and the environment in which to work productively and you have a useful member of staff. This view has yet to reach the majority. Maybe the Paralympics will change all that but I won’t hold my breath when money means more to Company Directors and their shareholders than retaining staff who are loyal, work hard and have an interest in the company and its’ future development.Sep 4, 2012
- What advice would you give someone like me who feels outraged that people with disabilities appear to be getting a raw deal? Are there simple things that can be done or implemented quickly or are we simply talking about changing culture and attitude...?Sep 4, 2012
- Yes Robert. We are talking about a major culture and attitude change. I have to totally agree with you that people with disabilities do get a raw deal but then life is not fair and even handed even if we would like it to be.
When companies employ disabled people, they can get Access to Work but the access to work payments are for example for equipment for the disabled individual to help them do their job. The equipment will follow the disabled person around from job to job. However, payments can be made to companies who for example have to widen doorways to allow a wheelchair user to be able to move around a building. Applications are generally considered on merit and are not always granted or if it is it might be proportionate to the cost of making changes.
Many small changes can be made with little cost and again will depend very much on the individual. Hope this helps.Sep 4, 2012
- time to start the small changesSep 4, 2012