Hi Wendi, I cannot find your Facebook post you referred to When the video feed went up on Facebook, I posted some of what I did not say do you have a link, or did they delete it?
As a father of three children with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which often leads to total blindness, I hear what you are saying. I have been working for 4 years to build a platform to help businesses connect with job seekers from a Diverse background (although my personal passion is about getting people with disabilities into employment).
We are only a few weeks away from launch, and we have been financially supported by MSD, and assisted by Mojo Mathers as well as the Government (so not all cut, cut, cut). There are some very dedicated people working for MSD, which surprised me, as I have never worked with Government Depts before.
My background is recruitment, and I have dedicated myself to help businesses to look outside the square to create a workplace that reflects our society which starts by improved employment prospects from the diversity spectrum. This will be completed by teaching their recruitment teams how to be more inclusive, and creating a pipeline for job seekers to connect with them.
Your post has steeled my resolve to complete this project, as I do have periods of Chronic Resolve over this project, which is my baby. I'll feed some information closer to our launch.
Apologies for delayed response, like most of Auckland I went away for the Easter weekend. Thanks to Sacha and Russell for their comments (and the link Sacha, nice to have a techno person backing me up). I will write something about the event and the key points raised. Basically we need to put some friendly pressure on businesses to do better in providing work opportunities for disabled people.
This is where social media can help - highlighting those businesses who have looked past gender and ethnicity as the full definition of Diversity. Many HR people have admitted to me that disability issues are just too hard and I get the feeling they are satisfied to be able to tick the Diversity Box in the easiest way possible.
The disability dollar (influenced by social media), is the weapon that we all have and is a lot larger than the pink dollar. People with disabilities, and their family and friends make up a sizeable chunk of the population. Ignore that at your peril.
Thank you Jonathan. I have three children with Retinitis Pigmentosa, and could potentially all go blind. I am also in the recruitment business and Diversity is a buzz word for HR people, but they generally do not look beyond gender and ethnicity. Disability is just too hard and is largely ignored.
45% of disabled people are unemployed and as you pointed out, 70% of visually impaired people are as well. Sadly, most of the employed are in non-skilled employment and the drop out rates at school of disabled children is also not good reading.
I am on the Auckland Branch Committee of HRINZ, the professional body of HR people. I have just set up a new special interest group focused on Diversity and our first event is on May 1st, discussing Disability Employment. Our speakers are Mojo Mathers, our first deaf MP; Grant Cleland, CEO of Workbridge; and Minnie Baragwanath CEO of Be.Employed. The two latter agencies are involved in addressing unemployment issues by education and supplying disabled candidates to business.
Google the event and come along, as I am not sure a hyperlink will work here.
Our world faces some great challenges that require cunning, cooperation and tenacity to overcome. Disabled people offer all of that, hard-won from daily experience. We are also your neighbours, your family, your future. Fellow citizens. Fellow humans.
Well put Sacha. The principal reason given for the appalling rate of unemployed disabled people is always Health and Safety. You have provided some lovely words to now counter that argument...cunning, tenacity, and hard won experience.
I used to work in a pub in London in the early 1980's (strange for a kiwi). You soon get to hate the hit of the day, which got relentlessly played on the jukebox. Under Pressure by Bowie/Queen was a huge hit, and I still loathe it with a passion like no other to this day.
I begged the guy who came to collect money from the jukebox to take it out, but of course they could tell which songs were doing the business so it was not going anywhere. In the end I resorted to unplugging it and putting up a sign that it was out of order.
Sorry Mr Bowie, if this affected your income back then.