Employment as a disabled person
At Bobath, we are very lucky to have the support of dedicated volunteers such as Jill, who are such a valued part of our fundraising team. Below, Jill shares her experience of trying to gain employment when you are disabled.
“As a person who has cerebral palsy I try my very best to live my life as normal as I can. One of my goals in my life was to get some kind of employment, paid or voluntary.
At school in my 4th year I did a work placement in my primary school for a week, I was working with a wee p1 pupil showing her to use a Communication device. I loved the placement and I knew then I wanted to go down the road of making awareness of disabled people.
After I left school I went to college and studied employment for 3 years and I did ECDL for 2 years. During my first year at college I got a voluntary job in the Feid Martin project at Quarriers, doing admin stuff, which I still do now.
After being at college for 5 years I wanted to get more days working but sadly I couldn’t get more days at Quarriers so I needed to find something else and it was really hard to do. Because I am in a wheelchair it was more difficult to find a job and somewhere has the right access for me like having a hoist in the toilet. I think I emailed my CV to everywhere and anywhere that I thought of. I felt like I was going around in circles and not getting anywhere. It felt like I was letting cerebral palsy stop me from getting a job and I was starting to think that I needed to go to college for ever or go around the shops for ever and I didn’t want that to happen.
At last I found an organization called Project Scotland where they help you to get a voluntary job. So I contacted them to see if they could help me and they did. They were very understanding with my needs and they put me in contact with Bobath Scotland where I used to go for therapy when I was younger, but I never thought of contacting them myself to see if they had anything going.
So I have been working (volunteering) at Bobath for 17 months now and I love it! I do thank you letters and in the past few months I have been working on my own project called “Join Jill”, where I am doing a lot of activities like skiing, swimming, horse riding and zip lining, and then I will be writing blogs about what I did.
Being able to work is a big thing to me and I am very proud to be able to be working. As I am disabled I could have said “OK, let’s just go around the shops every week for the rest my life because I am disabled” but no, I want to work like everyone else, why can’t I? I think being able to work shows anyone that I don’t let my cerebral palsy stop me. I know that I work for just two days a week for few hours and it may seem like I am not doing a lot and do just one thing each day but it is a lot to me especially if I am using my head tracker.
Like I said before I am just a volunteer at Bobath and Quarriers but it is just a job to me. Would I like to get paid someday? Well, to be honest it is my dream to get a paid job someday but don’t get me wrong, if I don’t get a paid job I will be more than happy to carry on volunteering but you never know!
I am very proud of my volunteering and I hope I am a good help to Bobath and Quarriers.
I hope this blog will inspire people who are disabled or knows anyone is disabled that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”