People with a sensory loss, and people with disabilities face significant barriers to work. For example, a recent survey of employers revealed that 75% of respondents would sooner employ an ex-convict than a person with vision loss.
People who are Deaf
A person who is Deaf or has hearing loss is FOUR TIMES more likely to be out of work than a hearing person. And yet people with a hearing loss or who are deaf have the same aspirations and work ethic as someone who is hearing.
People who have a VI
People registered as blind or partially sighted are nearly FIVE TIMES more likely to be unemployed for five years or more than the general population.
A person who is profoundly Deaf may use BSL (British Sign Language) as their first language and may be unable to read or write fluently in English, but very few employers publish their vacancies in a subtitled video, or in BSL.
People with other disabilities
Research shows that disabled people are twice as likely to face redundancy and find it much more difficult to find a new job afterwards. Added to this, only 52% of people with a disability between the age of 16 to 64 in Britain are in paid work (ONS 2019). That means that almost half of British people of working age with a disability don't have a job.
A chance to change
Perhaps the greatest barrier faced by people with disabilities is mistaken and out-of-date employer attitudes. People with a disabilities are NOT automatically a “health and safety risk” or an additional cost. It may be that a typical modification in the workplace to accommodate someone with a disabilities is as simple as “don’t leave bags in the pathway; don’t have things to high up”, and being a little more disability aware is all that is needed safe in the and effective and enclusive workplace.