Jobs

Chat with others about dyspraxia and share your experiences.

Jobs

Postby Creative » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:03 pm

My friend M is not very understanding about learning difficulties. He works at John Lewis and he says there is a downs syndrome boy working there and someone with speech problems. He thinks that if they can cope with part time work then anyone can. If this was true the benefits agency wouldn't be needed. I sometimes think it is easier for people with down's syndrome and similar difficulties to find sutiable employment than it is for people with dyspraxia. Am I right to think this?
Creative
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5098
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:48 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Postby parnassus » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:48 pm

Your friend doesn't seem to realise that disabled people are all different and we have our own areas of strength and weakness, just like everybody else. Just because one disabled person can work in John Lewis doesn't mean that every disabled person is capable of doing the same. The equivalent would be me saying to one of my non-disabled friends, "My Director of Studies at Cambridge wasn't disabled, and neither are you. If she could be a Cambridge don, so can you!" It doesn't make any sense. I would never be able to cope with part-time work in a shop as a direct result of my conditions and the effects that they have on me. Yet I would be able to cope with a job as an A-level teacher of English, something that a person with Down's Syndrome would find impossible.

I don't know whether it is fair to say that it is easier for people with Down's Syndrome to get a job than it is for somebody with dyspraxia. I think that the answer is likely to be no. Down's Syndrome is visible in a way that dyspraxia is not, which can make finding work very difficult. After my bad experience with the employment agency that discriminated against me so blatantly and so unfairly, I became a lot more reticent about my disabilities when filling out application forms. I disclosed them, yes, but I didn't go into quite so much detail about how they affect me. People with Down's don't really have any choice in the matter. Their disability is obvious from their face. It is much easier to discriminate against an applicant with Down's Syndrome than it is to discriminate against somebody like me, especially as people with Down's tend to be easier to hoodwink. I could see what the employment agency was doing to me, and if I had chosen to do so, I could have taken legal action against them. I doubt that a person with learning disabilities would have seen what was going on.

As a result the best way for people with learning disabilities to get into employment is through supported placements. What happens is that different employers sign up to the scheme, to show their willingness to employ somebody with a learning disability, and an employee is sent to them on placement. Some employers aren't quite so understanding as they appear at first, and employ people with learning disabilities as a token gesture to equality - if you go to the DWP's website you can read any number of cringe-inducing employer testimonies about how inspiring and endearing it is to see somebody with Down's Syndrome washing up in your pub. This is less likely to happen to a person with dyspraxia.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Creative » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:04 pm

People with dyspraxia need to gain quailifications to get into employment. People with down's syndrome or other learning difficulties would cope beter in certain work environments than we would. Like working in cafe's, shops and supermarkets. That is what a lot of people who went to my special college ended up doing. Those jobs would not be sutiable for me. Also people with dyspraxia need to be doing work that stretches them a bit. Oyherwise they get bored. Some people with other learning difficulties would not get bored as easily.
Creative
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5098
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:48 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Postby parnassus » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:43 pm

I think that everybody needs work that stretches them a bit. Bear in mind that doing retail work might be a big challenge for a person with Down's Syndrome, even if they stand a better chance at mastering it than somebody with a co-ordination disorder. It can be hard for people with certain learning disabilities to work out things that are basic in our own minds, such as realising that pressing a switch results in a light coming on. There is widespread reluctance to employ people who are seen as 'slow' and who may need a lot of prompting to accomplish simple things. Menial work may be readily available, but that does not mean that it is readily accessible for people with a learning disability. We also need to remember that people with learning disabilities can and do aspire to work that isn't menial, but they struggle to realise their aspirations because they can't get qualified. Jar, for example, wants to work with children who have special needs. I think that she would be fantastic at it, but from what she has said on DT previously she is having real difficulty with finding a college who will train her. Finally, a lot of people with learning disabilities also experience significant problems with co-ordination. The cognitive difficulties associated with learning disability are general, not specific. Some people might have reasonable co-ordination skills, but they are in the minority.

I agree that people with dyspraxia definitely need to gain qualifications to get into employment, but I don't see this as restrictive - a qualification gives you more choices and a better chance of getting a job that suits you personally. The same is true for non-disabled people as well. As I see it, the problems begin when employers become aware of the gulf between dyspraxic person's ability (and their perceived 'normality') and the things that they have achieved in the past. We usually won't have the same work history as other candidates. Our interview performance may come across as strange. This is what has happened to me, and this is the reason why I ended up applying for so many jobs that I am academically overqualified for. At Cambridge I noticed the other students forging contacts with newspapers, schools, publishers, law firms, banks - they could 'network' in a way that I can't, because I don't have the confidence or the social skills. They got holiday work placements where I failed, because to get a work placement you had to go to a noisy and crowded careers fair and really really sell yourself. They were running ahead before I had even got to my feet. I know that a lot of dyspraxic people have had similar experiences. However, I still don't think that we have to contend with the same kind of prejudice that people with learning disabilities face.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:56 pm

I agree with Vicky. Dyspraxic people are discriminaed against, but we aren't treated as sub-human or unwrthy of being born, wheras 90% of foetuses with Down's Syndrome are aborted.
You have been living with depression, which has made it harder for you to work. That would betrue whether you had dyspraxia or not. There are lots of things that stop people getting work - racism, ableism, lack of education, lack of confidence and just plain bad luck.
Image
User avatar
Thirteen-thirty-seven
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5688
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:37 am
Location: Stoke-on-Trent, England

Postby Steph » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:10 pm

I agree with Vicky and Esther. Employers can also use the fact that people with Downs Syndrome and other learning disabilities often face discrimination in their search for employment to their advantage. There was a case where a man with learning disabilities was working in a petrol garage and was working over 60 hours a week, being paid less than the minimum wage and being denied refreshment breaks. His learning disabilities meant he could not see that he was being taken advantage of and, when it went before a trribunal, his employer claimed the man should be grateful that he offered him a job in the first place.
Steph
Forum God !
 
Posts: 7853
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Surrey, south east England

Postby monkey » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:08 am

job discrimination is fustriaiting. I woudl liek a job. But I do nto have oen. I am on a invalides benifit instead. i failed all of my papers thsi year. if i can nto get a qalificatoin i do nto knwo what I will do with my life. I do nto what to live my lfie on the invalids benifit. Some tiems i think it is hopeless.
monkey
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:21 am

Postby parnassus » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:52 am

It's not hopeless, Candy. I think that you're going to have a very difficult time with finding a job because you struggle to speak fluently and there are times when you don't have any language, but I'm sure that you will get there in the end. You may go more slowly than other people, but this means that you will appreciate your degree and your job even more when you have them. Keep trying. I will pray for you.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
parnassus
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5883
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Over here

Postby Steph » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:55 am

I agree with Vicky, Candy. You will get a job in the end, I'm sure.

Regarding the coordination aspect of learning disability, Vicky is right. I have met around 50 people with Downs Syndrome now as a result of volunteering in special schools-all of them have significant coordination problems in terms of gross motor skills in particular.
Steph
Forum God !
 
Posts: 7853
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Surrey, south east England

Postby Creative » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:30 pm

I'm sure you will get a job eventually Candy.
Creative
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5098
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:48 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:43 pm

Candy, t was not your fault that you failed your papers. You failed your computer paper because of a power cut. That wasn't your fault and it is very unlikely that it will happen again when you re-sit it.
You have achieved a lot at University and you will go on to achieve more. I think you need more helpo from the university, so you can learn in a way that suits your brain and be less stressed. But there is plenty of hope for you. You have so many talents, but lots of people don't recognise them just because you find taling hard. It will not always be that way. One day people will see the truth of you.
Image
User avatar
Thirteen-thirty-seven
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5688
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:37 am
Location: Stoke-on-Trent, England

Postby monkey » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:29 pm

thank you
monkey
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:21 am

Postby Hermionefan5 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:50 pm

I haven't got a job in my chosen field yet. So, I guess I know a little bit how that feels, Candy. I have another job though and it's going particularly well right now. I guess the best advice I can give you in these hard economic times is to just try your best at the interview and the right job will come eventually. Being yourself is the only way you will get there and you will get there soon. I believe it! :)
Image is from "Gilmore Girls" Season 1
"You are the same as everyone else."--"Forrest Gump"
"I want you to go out there and skate for these people like I have seen you skate."--"The Cutting Edge"
User avatar
Hermionefan5
The Cat's Pajamas !!
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:51 pm
Location: The United States of America :)

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:49 pm

I'm gla your job is going well, Shanna. :)
Image
User avatar
Thirteen-thirty-seven
Forum God !
 
Posts: 5688
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:37 am
Location: Stoke-on-Trent, England

Postby Page » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:55 am

I'm currently looking for a job as well. I've been applying to the various online job boards (Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com, mostly) and I've been using a job placement service. (ITAC solutions, right here in Birmingham, AL)

ITAC might have found something for me, (they said I'm the first one in line) so I'll see how it goes. Hopefully I'll know something by Monday or Tuesday.
User avatar
Page
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:54 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Next

Return to General Dyspraxia Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron