Encountering obstacles while seeking and maintaining employment is a common experience, particularly for individuals with disabilities. Organisations have implemented various disability policies to ensure equal opportunities, job satisfaction, and retention. In this discussion, we’ll explore ideas that individuals can employ to overcome some of these barriers to find work. Whilst striving for a successful career despite having a disability.
Potential Barriers to Employment for People with Disabilities
Before delving into strategies an individual can undertake to assist themselves in finding and keeping a job. Firstly we will look to understand the challenges that NDIS participants may face in the process of seeking employment:
Prejudice and Discrimination: People with disabilities often encounter bias and discrimination from potential employers and co-workers, limiting their job prospects.
Fear of Job Loss and Financial Insecurity: Participants feel a greater risk of job security due to their disability. This also adds further concerns about losing any disability benefits and having financial stability that they provide. This may deter many from pursuing employment goals even when they have NDIS funded supports to aid in their journey.
Inaccessible Workplace: Despite improvements in recent years, some workplaces lack necessary infrastructure and modifications, posing challenges for individuals with disabilities.
Inadequate Training and Support: People with a disability may require specific training. Additional support maybe necessary to ensure they as employees feel supported in their work conditions.
Strategies you can use to Overcome these challenges and Secure Employment
Build Self-Confidence and Advocacy Skills: These type of skills will provide confidence for a participant. Empowering them to communicate their concerns or needs to a potential employer and in the work environment.
Seek Support from Disability Employment Services (DES): The NDIS can provide funding for participants who are seeking employment. These services can include skill development, resume assistance, interview practice among others.
Be Prepared for the Interview: Practice mock interviews with your employment support personnel so you have confidence in yourself. This will prepare you for what can be a nervous time. This also is your chance to shine and show them how you will be able to add value to the business.
Research and Target Disability-Friendly Employers: Finding employers who champion inclusion will provide better employment opportunity to participants. These employers are more likely to provide support in the workplace and aid you to achieve your goals.
Network and Utilise Online Job Portals: The saying, “its not what you know, but who you know”, holds truth in the employment marketplace. networking within the community and attending functions and events can create career opportunities.
Confidence in providing Accommodations and Solutions: Being confident enough in yourself to proactively provide any solutions to any potential employer concerns. Any additional supports or modifications they may need to make in the workplace to accommodate your employment. This removes the concerns and provides them with confidence in hiring you.
Pursue Volunteering or Internship opportunities: Volunteering in an organisation or undertaking an internship can provide great work experience. This all helps to build your skills and confidence in the workplace.
Stay Informed About Disability Rights: Participants should ensure they are aware of relevant workplace discrimination laws in their State. Along with any health and safety laws to ensure their working life is prosperous. This can ensure they know their rights or if they are unsure they know where to seek assistance.
NDIS Employment Support options
NDIS offers crucial support services for participants seeking to not just find a job but to pursue their career. Everyone just wants a fair go in which the NDIS is here to facilitate this for people with a disability. The supports provided under the NDIS include personal care, transport assistance, job search support, and transitional assistance. These are all aimed to provide a participant with a work life balance and ensure they have a workplace that supports employees.
In conclusion, breaking through employment barriers for people with disabilities requires confidence, targeted job searches, and engaging with community support networks. By challenging stereotypes and advocating for equal opportunities, individuals with disabilities can find meaningful and fulfilling work. Employers and communities should recognise the value of diversity in a workforce. By creating inclusive workplaces that embrace the unique potential and talent of all individuals, regardless of ability status.