65% of people with learning disabilities want a paid job, but less than 6% have one.
This injustice needs to end for us to be equal members of society. Everybody wants to be in control of their own life, and people with learning disabilities are no different. We would much rather have social justice than charity - Why give us money when you can help us to earn our own instead?
But jobs aren’t just good because they give you money – people in work tend to have better social lives, emotional well-being and mental health.
Practicing what we preach
At My Life My Choice, we employ 4 learning disabled consultants, and pay a further 40 people with learning disabilities to do freelance work as group facilitators, Travel Buddies, Power Up trainer, and Experts by Experience.
We have found that once you make some adjustments, people with learning disabilities can be paid for their work and do a great job. In fact, we found loads of positive reasons to give jobs to people with a learning disability.
Leading the way
We would like the health and social care and the charity sector to lead the way in terms of employing people with learning disabilities.
Rather than talking about how people with learning disabilities are capable and should have the same life chances as everybody else, we should show the world that they are, by changing our recruitment processes to support them into our workforce.
We should all be aiming for 2.3% of an organisation’s paid staff to have a learning disability, since that is the percentage of the general population that has a learning disability.
“If you’re running a company in the UK today and not employing people with learning disabilities and autism, get your act together. You’re missing out on employing people who are hard workers and great colleagues; employees who will make a positive difference to your company.” Steve Scown, Dimensions CEO (Read his full blog post here).
The 2.3% Mark
We are going to create a recognisable logo and sign up area where organisations can sign up to show that thay are committed to employing people with learning disabilities because people with learning disabilities make up at least 1% of the workforce.
Please let us know if this is something you can help us with.