New blogger in town!

I’ve written guest blogs for a number of friends and colleagues, and am a regular contributor for Birds on the Blog (twice appearing in the Forbes top 100 blogs for women!) but up until today I didn’t have my own.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can (and do) talk for England on the subject of disability and employment, so I decided it was time to start my own blog on the subject. I realise this is quite a niche subject, but thankfully I’m discovering more and more people who also feel that disabled people are an asset to any place of work, and form a legitimate and valued part of the diversity of any workforce.

I suspect my blogs will be a mix of personal experience, observations on news stories, pieces about particular aspects of employing disabled people, looking at current developments in the field and perhaps some case studies amongst some general musings about the field of disability and employment. I hope to invite some guests to blog sometimes as well.

My somewhat varied and random background, for anyone reading who doesn’t know me, includes careers in engineering, social work, diversity training and very latterly recruitment (if running a job board can be called a career in recruitment).

Like all of us, I’m learning all the time (I’ve learned more in the last three years about life, disability and myself than in the previous 48!). My interest (I hate to use the word “passion” as it has become so clichéd these days) in disability and employment stems from a variety of sources:

  • For fourteen years I delivered diversity training (on all the equality “strands”, including disability) to a large number of employers, mostly in the public sector, and saw the benefits they gained in employing a diverse range of people.
  •  As a business owner I have employed, managed and worked with a wonderfully diverse range of people, including a number of disabled people, and so have learned firsthand the benefits disabled employees bring with them to a business.
  • Being disabled myself I also know firsthand the importance of being in work to a disabled person – not just for the income, but also the need to have a sense of purpose, of self-esteem, of dignity and retaining some independence, social contact and the feeling of “belonging” to an organisation and playing your part in society.

Jane, working lying down with a lap top suspended above her

I hope the blogs that are currently in my head, and which I hope to transfer to words on a page on a fairly regular basis, will be informative and thought-provoking, but more than that will provide a starting point for discussion, where others can share their experiences and points of view for us all to learn from as well. I feel I’m embarking on a new journey and would welcome your company as a fellow traveller.

3 thoughts on “New blogger in town!

    1. I am 52 years old and I have worked, with some dilifcufties, full time up until about 5 years ago. I was diagnosed with Rhuematoid Arthritis 25 years ago and my disease was very active and has taken its toll on my body. I am now on disability, but I still must work, so I try to hold down a part time job. I am single and I am my only source of income, and it is not possible to survive on my social security benefit. I have a really hard time finding jobs that I can do and that also fit within the social security income guidelines. I have lost several jobs over the years which makes my resume look terrible. I have 3 questions.1. Will the employment rules ever change for disabled workers on SS, to make the wage limit a realistic living wage to compliment your benefits?2. DVR has not really been much help to a worker like me, with skills and a long work history. Since I work hard not to look disabled I don’t know how or when to broch this subject with a prospective employer that may or may not be sympathetic to my condition. Why isn’t there a true referral service for disabled workers, with a true network of employers that want to hire skilled employees with limitations?3. As I mentioned above, I have had several part time jobs that I only lasted in 3 6 months, usually due to some RA related issue. What is the best way to present my work history on my resume? Should I take off the short term jobs and show long gaps of unemployment? How should I explain those gaps in an interview?

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