26 years ago I became involved in finding work for people with disability. That time has taught me some important truths and it is little short of a tragedy that others on the same journey haven’t read the signs.
Here’s the deal: people with disability should NEVER be given a job on the basis of pity. NOVA’s job seekers and all other individuals that wish to work despite their impairment should NEVER be offered to employers as either objects of pity or as a burden of charity.
1. Because the ideas such persons aren’t as valuable is a lie – I employ people with disability and they are amongst NOVA’s highest performers.
2. (and these aren’t in any order) Promoting such workers as in need of special understanding is not true. People with disability may need accommodations in their job description or in their working environment and once they have these then their productivity is not an issue.
3. Where a person receives less than award wage (a supported wage) that still isn’t as charity cases, its an independently assessed yardstick of the persons productivity that means they (pro-rata) earn the same as their non-disabled peers.
Television campaigns that suggest employing people with disability is some sort of ‘Christian’ gift are counterproductive, misleading, demeaning and set back the path and progress of people with disability 30years.
I think you should give a person with a disability a job./ I think you should do that for the very capitalist centred reasons I give people with disability employment – they make more than they cost. It is only on that basis and on that basis alone can long term employment be sustained.
Incidentally (and while I am ranting) if you then allow service providers to conspire in a government sanctioned policy of heavily subsidising the wage of every short hour placement you can find you have pretty much created the perfect recipe for ensuring people with disability never get ahead.
Pushing a warm and fuzzy message of charity and gift giving as the basis for organisational employment practices just stinks.
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