Working When You Have A Disability Or Chronic Illness

There are many of us who can no longer work due to our disability or chronic illness. But, many of us want to and are able to work. We still want to be independent, have financial security, feel valued and be productive members of society. Employers are being more proactive, whether by choice or by legislation in hiring people with disabilities. However, if you are looking for work, you may find that there are still some stereotypes and misconceptions about hiring people with disabilities.

One of the blogs I read each day is Rolling Around In My Head by Dave Hingsburger. Dave has worked in the field of disability for over 30 years and for the last few years he has had to use a wheelchair. He writes eloquently and passionately about disability issues that he experiences through his work, speaking engagements and life in general.

Dave’s recent post is called Realizing Resources.  This is a post he was asked to submit to one of Canada’s major news web sites. We are having a federal election next month and they are asking people to write about different subjects for Canadians and the candidates to discuss during this election. He chose to write about employment and people with disabilities. Here’s a small portion of his post.

As I ride to work on accessible transit in Toronto, I meet others with disabilities, fully employed and fully participating. Vital people with much to offer. Lawyers and accountants, consultants and teachers, programmers and fundraisers. Many are wired to the max, texting, phoning, reviewing reports on slick gadgets as they travel. These people defy the stereotype of those with disabilities. In fact, work is probably the most powerful political statement that someone with a disability makes. Yet it is a statement often unheard.

Hopefully, with posts such as this one by Dave and by others, the various mental and physical barriers will be reduced until this subject becomes a non-issue.


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