#LDWorkWeek – A retrospective after 2 years at work
#LDWorkWeek is a campaign to help more people with learning disabilities into work because according to the learning disability charity Mencap, only 6% of people with learning disabilities known to local authorities of working age are in paid employment even though many of them would like to have a job and there are many benefits to employing people with learning disabilities.
Why I’m a great employee
For example, I have been in permanent employment for 2 years because my Mencap employment advisor helped me find the right job and I have received the right support from my employer. As a result of this, I have been able to:
· Increase awareness about the importance of accessibility in the workplace and making sure everyone can use your products and services – as failing to do so can mean you lose 10 million potential customers. People with learning disabilities have first hand knowledge of a disabled client base and may able to quickly spot inaccessible content or barriers.
· Develop and learn new skills and consistently apply them to my work. For example, my colleagues Taryl and Tom have praised not only my copywriting skills, but my ability to ensure our social media posts gain traction by distributing them across all our platforms.
· Positively represent my organisation at events such as The First Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable. 77% of the general public think highly of companies that employ people with a disability (Mencap Fact Sheet for Employers).
· Help create a great workplace culture. At my last appraisal my line manager told me I was well-liked by my team and recently became the organisation’s DSE assessor, which will help combat health conditions such as combating musculoskeletal disorders, reduced concentration levels and other ill-health effects of poorly designed work stations.
Why I have enjoyed coming to work
Work has helped me develop new skills I may not have gained outside the workplace, learn about new topics (check out some of my blog posts here), make new friends, and it has given me a confidence boost. And according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it has probably improved my physical and mental well-being too.
If we make the job market more accessible for people with learning disabilities and help more employers become disability confident, it will not only improve the well-being of people with learning disabilities in our society, but could increase the number of people with learning disabilities in work and boost the UK economy (Social Market Foundation, 2007).
Zeinab Ali - Digital Marketing and Project Assistant
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can make your workplace more accessible for everyone.