Livability launched its LET ME WORK campaign on 14th February and revealed that employers’ attitudes towards disability are the biggest barrier in the workplace for disabled people.
The findings, according to a survey of the general public by Livability and nfpSynergy, also showed that while 62% of the respondents cited employers’ attitudes as the main issue, only 1% thought that a disabled person’s ability to do a job could prove problematic.
The survey also revealed that almost half of those that took part in the survey claimed they had never worked with anyone with a disability.
Livability presented the results of their Public perceptions of employment and disability survey at their LET ME WORK campaign launch event at the House of Lords.
As part of the campaign, the charity is calling for employers to take on a more pro-active approach and help widen access to employment for people with disabilities. It also launched its LET ME WORK week project to encourage employers to pledge to offer a week of work experience in September 2013 to disabled people.
In addition, the charity is calling for the government to extend its Access to Work scheme to cover work experience. Currently, disabled people can only receive financial support under the scheme if they are in paid employment. The charity has posted an epetition to gather support for this call to action. The petition can be accessed here.
Dave Webber, Interim Chief Executive at national disability charity Livability said:
‘’ As a charity our aim is to help disabled people achieve their full potential and work towards eradicating the many barriers that prevent them from doing so. Employment, work experience and volunteering opportunities are often key to a disabled person’s long-term independence. Unfortunately, unemployment rates for people with disabilities, especially those with learning disabilities, remain high.
We want to encourage employers to give disabled people a fair chance in the job market. Being inclusive and encouraging diversity can only be beneficial to employers and our survey shows that the general public would welcome a disabled person in their workplace. Disabled people should be able to use their skills and talents to contribute positively to the workplace like everyone else. We are keen to work in partnership with employers to make this happen. Livability is also calling for government to extend the Access to Work scheme to cover work experience placements, as we believe this will help disabled people develop their skills and show employers what they can do. ’’
The survey also found that:
Current employment statistics show that Disabled people are far less likely to be in employment than their non-disabled peers. The employment rate of disabled people was 48.8% compared with 77.5% for non-disabled people in 2011. Only 7.5% of people with learning disability are in paid employment in England.