Anyone with a disability is likely to find the prospect of entering the world of work challenging. But what do employment prospects look like for someone who lives with cerebral palsy?
Anyone who has a disability, no matter what it might be, has aspirations to lead an independent life. What independence truly means will differ from person to person, but a common goal among most people is to be able to pursue a fulfilling career.
Of course, it’s not always as simple as picking a job out of a hat and applying for it. That’s especially true for anyone who has cerebral palsy, as the physical and social barriers that come with the condition can prevent someone from being able to do exactly what they have set their heart on.
In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at what employment prospects truly look like for people with cerebral palsy. We’ll also explore what potential barriers could get in the way, and discuss ways to find meaningful and sustainable employment. Be sure to keep reading to find out more!
The Potential Barriers to Employment for Someone with Cerebral Palsy
There are a number of potential physical barriers which can prevent someone with cerebral palsy from being able to pursue a career in certain industries.
Naturally, professions which entail physical exertion, such as construction or trades jobs, are not always going to be accessible for people with cerebral palsy. But the job itself doesn’t always present the physical barrier.
Depending on the job and where someone is living, it may be difficult to travel to specific locations. If there are limited public transport links and there is no on-site parking, it may not be possible for someone with cerebral palsy to travel to certain parts of their local area.
Even if they are able to easily reach the place of work, that isn’t to say that it is always going to be accessible. It may be the case that an office is located on an upper floor, but there are no lifts which allow someone with cerebral palsy to easily access it.
These are all issues which, thankfully, are much less prominent now than they once were, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t non-issues.
As is the same with the kinds of physical barriers facing people with cerebral palsy, social barriers are gradually being broken down. They still exist, in some form or another, however.
The most notable barrier that many people with cerebral palsy face is having access to equal employment opportunities. The government have gone to great lengths to encourage employers to explore the possibility of hiring people with disabilities, though this only goes so far.
It is against the law for an employer to discriminate someone because of their disability – such as refusing to hire them on those grounds alone. However, if someone with a disability is objectively less qualified than another candidate, this is likely to count against them and could prevent them from getting a job.
This can form one part of a vicious cycle. As people with disabilities are less likely to have been given opportunities to gain experience in the first instance, or gain extra qualifications, building up a credible CV can prove to be incredibly difficult.
How Can People with Cerebral Palsy Find Suitable Work?
So, we’ve covered plenty of reasons to explain why getting a job with cerebral palsy is difficult. But what we haven’t yet explained is the fact that it’s far from impossible. That’s where this section should come in handy…
Start with the Job You Really Want
Before you start hunting for jobs that will pay the bills and nothing much more, the best advice we can give is to start with an industry that you are genuinely interested in. If you know that there are no real physical barriers that will stop you from carrying out a certain job, then there is nothing stopping you from making applications.
If you have what an employer is looking for, then there is no reason why your cerebral palsy will have any sort of effect on your ability to be employed!
Take Free Courses to Improve Your Employability
If you’re finding that job specifications are asking for candidates with qualifications and experience that extend well beyond what you’re currently able to offer, then you can still take a proactive approach to change that.
There are plenty of free courses which are easily accessible, and will ultimately help to improve your skills and industry-knowledge.
Use Job Websites for Disabled People
Finding a job through traditional job websites isn’t always going to be the most suitable approach for people with cerebral palsy. That’s why there are a number of different sites out there which provide support for disabled people and help them get stuck into the world of work.
Two great examples are Evenbreak and Disabled Workers. Evenbreak helps disabled job seekers and inclusive employers so that both parties are able to find their perfect match. Disabled Workers is a registered charity that supports disabled people by listing the latest opportunities and providing a space for people to showcase their skills online.
Always Focus on Your Strengths
While this may seem like rather generic advice that could be handed out to anyone who is looking for a job, it’s especially important to keep in mind if you have a disability such as cerebral palsy.
It’s important not to get hung up on your cerebral palsy and how it could put an employer off. What you should always focus on is why you’re the perfect candidate for a role, based on your personal qualities and skills.
How Else Can You Improve Your Chances of Getting a Job with Cerebral Palsy?
In this post, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the potential barriers which can get in the way of landing a job with cerebral palsy. We’ve also looked at how it’s possible to still find suitable work.
Have you got any more tips for people with cerebral palsy who are looking for a job? Why not leave them in the comments below so we can keep the discussion going?