Previous Article Next Article Disabled people still not employed despite skillsOn 22 Feb 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Fear and ignorance are preventing companies from employing disabled people,even when they have useful skills, a major disability charity has claimed.The comments were made by charity Leonard Cheshire after it emerged thatfewer than one in six disabled people who joined a computer skills trainingcourse have found paid employment.The nationwide scheme which trains people on-line in their own homes, waslaunched by Leonard Cheshire in February 1998.Two years on, only 87 people of the 576 who have been provided withcomputers and the necessary software have found jobs.Andrew Anderson, manager of the Workability scheme, said progress had beenmuch slower that expected. He said employer ignorance was a factor, althoughnot the only cause. Employers do not know about grants for customising workstations and are frightened about taking on disabled people, believing theywill not be up to the job, he said.”When you talk to senior people in big companies the policies are inplace and they know what they should be doing. But it is not always filteringdown to middle management, who still have reservations,” he said.Mike Evans, manager of the Employment Disability Unit at Dundee council,which helps disabled people in Tayside find jobs, says the best way to overcomeignorance is to get people into companies on work experience.”Work placements do not always lead to jobs but they introducedisability to the workplace and it helps people get comfortable with it,”he said. Gary Hillyer, information officer at AbilityNet, said there was a markeddifference between companies in their awareness of the abilities of disabled computer-literatepeople.Leonard Cheshire plans to use more work placements. It is also runningroadshows for HR directors to raise awareness of the scheme and disabilityissues.www.leonard-cheshire.orgBy Dominique Hammond Related posts:No related photos.