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Working with Disabilities

During our lifetime we make many choices, choices like which career path we follow for instance. We have the choice to go looking for that one person who makes us feel complete, the person we want to settle down with and have children with. But there are some choices in life that are out of our control, been differently abled for instance. One does not choose to have a medical condition that will effect the rest of our lives. Living with such a condition can be a challenge at the best of times. When one has to go out and earn a living to provide for themselves and the people the care most about, that challenge becomes even harder.

One cannot comment on the challenges that other individuals face personally with been differently abled, particularly when I comes to sight loss as there are many condition that effect the eyes. One can only comment on ones own life experiences while battling such a condition. Having lost the vision in one eye and been diagnosed with glaucoma at a young age, so please forgive any mistakes in this post, one has had to adapt to the world around in order to survive. This meant learning new way of doing things that an abled bodied person does evey day without any issues. Simple things like entering a room can pose a challenge because it is very easy to walk into the door frame, this may seem humerus to others but it can be painful believe me.

In the United Kingdom we have a policy of taking care of the less abled bodied. There are structures in place to protect individuals such as myself who suffer from a disability. This is known as the discrimination act. During my years of study and looking for employment one has had to fight discrimination many times. My story begins seven months ago in March of 2014. Been disabled I was in receipt of incapability benefits, having attended many medicals and been passed unfit for work by many doctors. One doctor said in his report ” it is my judgment that Mr Gates cannot work in the labour market” does the mean one can work under the Conservatives then, with the state of affairs at present the answer is no.

Early this year one was sent for a medical, this was carried out by a private company called Atos, the medical was carried out by a nurse and not a trained doctor, like many others in this country one was passed fit for work, this sparked a huge backlash from disability rights groups as Atos were sending individual out to work who clearly were not fit to do so. So for the last seven months or so one has been applying for every job the is in my field of expertise, the Government is trying to get people off of benefits and into work but they are not taking into account that there are not enough jobs to go round. And even bigger issue for someone who is differently abled is that there is still a lot of discrimination out there amount the employers.

Three months ago this author attended an interview with a Network Security firm in Leeds, one will not name the company here but the right people have been informed of the company name. During the interview one was praised for my IT skills in particular my knowledge Networking and how the internet works with routers, switches and servers. But as soon as my vision came into the conversation all talk turned to me getting hurt on the job, fears I would fall down the stairs, those are what ifs. You can’t live your life by what ifs, one could get hit by a bus tomorrow, which is why they always say wear clean underwear.

The afore mentioned has happened to me a few times now, the problem is discrimination is very hard to prove, the company simply has to say that the skills were not there to do the job. The government is not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable in this country. They are turning their back on the very people who put them in office, the very same people who can remove them from office as well.

How can a private medical firm who is working for their profit margins be the best people to judge who is capable of work, they don’t see how that person lives day to day. They just get a thirty minute consultation and they make their report based on that, disabilities change day to day with some days been better than others. In little over six months the people of this little island get to vote in the general election for our next government, the British people have long memories and we will pass judgment in May next year…

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Sight

 

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The Five Senses

Normal healthy baby at birth are born with all their senses in tact of which there are five of them. Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and hearing. The child born with all five in tact has a healthy start in life and hopefully will go on to receive a good education and find the perfect career. But what happens if one of the five senses is absent, suddenly it becomes a completely different ball game and life becomes that bit more of a challenge for that child.

One cannot speak for other individuals who have to live with a medical condition that effects one or more of our senses. one can only speak from ones own experience. At birth all of my senses were in tact, the problems which one faces now started at the age of thirteen, that was when the sight in my left eye began to deteriorate. It was discovered that one had a condition called Keratoconus.

Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea, the lens at the front of the eye does not grow as the body grows and the lens begins to warp, this results in a distorting of the vision. A year later at the age of fourteen it was discovered one also had glaucoma, when one was looking at lights there appeared to be a halo of different colour rings, my mother who already suffers from this condition noticed the signs and took me to the hospital.

The diagnosis was glaucoma, glaucoma is a very nasty condition where the pressure inside the eye builds and builds to a point where it causes blindness. There are many types of glaucoma which one will not list them all here but should you wish to learn more you can do so at http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/types-of-glaucoma.php

So from an early age one had to deal with a double whammy. Over the years one has accepted the things one cannot change, you have to accept the fact the you do have a disability and get on with your life or you simply curls up and wait to die, one prefers to do the former rather than latter.

Over the years one has learned to laugh at the things that one cannot change, one is the first to admit that Mr Magoo has far better vision than myself. My time has been allocated to studying which  finally came to fruition for me last year when one graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Science (Bsc) in Applied Computing with a final grade of 2:2.

Since then one has been searching for employment in my chosen field of IT/Networking. This has yielded another problem. One has attended numerous interviews where it was acknowledged by the interviewer that ones technical skills were outstanding, but as soon as they find out about the issues with my sight they make excuses to dismiss one as a candidate for the position , one won’t name names but a well know computer store was one of the culprits .

It is disgusting when this happens and it does make an individual feel worthless because there are other individuals out there like myself who strive every day to make a better life for themselves and the ones they love, it is a hard life been differently abled with out facing discrimination at every turn.

But at the end of the day all you can do is fight on and keep searching. So with that my final words to the employers are this, don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because that cover is a little battered and bruised it does not mean that the contents are not a good read….

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Sight

 

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Christmas

Well another year has nearly passed and that institution that we call Christmas is but a month away. Speaking personally I find Christmas to be a most depressing event. The lucky ones with large families all gather round the table to eat drink and be merry, come January they regret it when the scales come out. You could say that one is a bit of a grindge in that one would tell people that Santa got laid off in the budget cuts and his toy factory in the North Pole was repossessed by the banks.

Something has to give because they expect us to go out and buy expensive presents like tablets and IPhones but there is just not enough money coming into an household right now to pay for such items. But all that aside what is Christmas really about, over the years it has just become more about making money. What about the people who are alone at Christmas, what about the people with who are homeless at this the most depressing time of the year. Spare a though for them and help someone who is down on their luck, even if its is only through giving your old clothes to a charity shop it helps.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Christmas

 

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Depression, the silent killer

We all at some point in our lives suffer from some form of ailment, the ones who are lucky enough to get over it do so quickly and get Back to there daily routines. But for many there is no getting over certain condition. In the United Kingdom today there stands around eleven million men and woman who suffer from some form of disability, this author is himself differently abled with sight issues. There are many different types of physical disabilities that are easy to identify. We see an individual in the street with a white stick and we instantly know that person has sight problems.

When we see a person in a wheelchair we instantly know that person has problems with their mobility, it is the same for an individual with an hearing impairment, the signs are there to tell us that the person we are looking at is differently abled. The vast majority of people today will show some for of respect to a differently abled person upon meeting them.

There is however one condition that is not so easy to identify through simple observations alone. Depression is a condition of the mind that effects both men and woman, a few months ago the world was in shock as a comedy legend departed this world before his time, Robin Williams was found dead by committing suicide. He had money and fame but yet he was in a bad place which resulted in a great loss to the world.

During World War 2, the man responsible for standing up to Nazi Germany Sir Winston Churchill himself was a sufferer of this killer condition, speaking of his depression which he referred to as his Black Dog. Sir Winston said “I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.”

Abraham Lincoln (1809 -1865) also fell foul to the black dog that is depression, it effected him so much so that as a young man he was put on suicide watch. Thankfully he did not follow through with the final solution. Instead he carried on and became the 16th president of the United States of America, ultimately meeting an untimely demise at the hands of John Wilkes Booth in the ford theater. But one digresses. Depression crosses vast continents, there is no divide between rich and poor as far as depression is concerned. There is no safe haven from this killer.

Many years ago now this author himself fell victim to this killer condition, looking back on those dark times one remembers that there was times when this author reached a point where life just did not seen worth living. One recalls a day she my friend from school came to visit me and yet he was like a stranger to me. So one is speaking from experience when it comes to depression.

There is a huge stigma that surrounds mental health problems and there shouldn’t be. Individuals with mental health issues need the same level of consideration that would be shown to an individual with a physical disability. Don’t just leave someone who is a little down to their own devices and hope they come out of it because as we saw from Robin Williams, it does not always work out that way…

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Depression

 

Recruiters, Friend or Foe

As many will know in the United Kingdom today the financial situation of many UK residents is not very good. In fact a great many people are having to take drastic action and turn to food banks as a means to survival. The UK Government says that the economy is improving and that there are more job out there. Whilst one is not disputing these claims, this author of this document is simply stating his own experience with regards to looking for work.

Official figures state that at present the unemployment figures currently stands at a little under 2 million people as of this year 2014. That is still a large number of people looking for work, that is assuming that they want to work. In my experience and from my own observations. There are people out there who are just happy to live their life on benefits throwing away their dole money on alcohol and drugs

However there are individuals such as myself out there who study hard and train to improve their standard of living by getting a better paying job. We do this not only for the money but also for a sense of self worth by finding a job that we love to do. But in the job market today there is another obstacle to overcome and that is recruiters, they are agency’s that operate as a go between for employer and the employee.

This author has over the last six months has applied for around five hundred jobs, a great many of which were through recruitment agency’s. This author is not saying that all of these agency’s are bad but some are quite happy to waste our time with calls regarding jobs that don’t exist. One has lost count of the number of calls that one has received saying they found my Curriculum Vitae online, they asked me a vast amount of question about my experience and the qualifications i have earned after which they inform me i will be added to their database but they have no position available at present. Its somewhat like the cold calling we used to be pestered with trying to sell us windows or PPI .

My job searching took another knock a few month ago after applying for a position on the internet. After receiving a call a few days later saying that my Curriculum Vitae had been shortlisted for the position. one jumped in the bath, which is reserved for special occasions only. Out came the suit and tie and one hopped the bus to Leeds. Upon arriving in Leeds and spending an hour looking for the place, guess what another recruitment agency when it came out. After my registration with them, one never heard a thing after that from them.

There are at present over 10,000 Of these recruitment agency’s operating in the UK and a lot of them in my views have little to no knowledge of the position been advertised by the employer, they simply look for key words on a persons Curriculum Vitae then call you asking if you would like to be put forward for the position, after which you never hear from them again. Its like having to endure two interviews, one interview for the recruiter and a second interview with employer for the position itself. The point is life is hard enough when it comes to looking for work without these recruitment agency making it any more difficult for us.

One is not alone in my disgust at the growing number of these recruitment agency’s. There is an e-partition online asking the government to have some of these recruiters shut down as they have too much power, naturally one signed it adding my name to a growing list. Is it not now time that we got back to dealing with the employers themselves where we can talk about the skills that we possess with the employer, where we demonstrate the skills that we have strived so hard to achieve. A lot of skills that many people posses are transferable to other areas, these recruiters don’t see this and they dismiss an individual because a key word is missing from a Curriculum Vitae…

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Recruitement Agencies

 

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