We know from our own experiences plus research into employment for disabled people that work is a good thing. Most disabled people want to work but the work has to be right. There are many positive benefits to being in employment, doing some volunteering or running your own business not least the fact that we have more money in our pockets, feel more confident and have better health outcomes than people who do not work.
In the UK, 3.7 million disabled people under 65 are not in a job and the employment rate for disabled people is significantly lower than for non-disabled people. In 2013 46.8% of working-age disabled people were in employment compared to 77 % of working-age non-disabled people. There is therefore a 30.2% gap between disabled and non-disabled people, representing over 2 million people. (DWP, 2013).
Over the last year Disability Sheffield has worked in partnership with the Local Authority and Job Centre Plus to try and work towards increasing the support for disabled people who live in Sheffield get around employment to narrow that gap. Some of the positive things we have achieved are the design and implementation of the accessible toolkit which is hosted on our new web site and the training course on ‘Employment and Disability’ which we have been busy delivering over the last few months to various teams within health and social care so that they feel much more confident about talking to disabled people about their employment options.