They assume unemployability


I fear that when the media, especially the middle class media, talks about disabled people especially in terms of the welfare reforms, they assume disabled people are unemployable. I know I keep returning to this issue but until people get it, it is important to understand.

I hate the pity which is trusted upon disabled people and now demanded by a vocal minority of disabled people, portraying themselves as activists. They argue that the welfare reforms are an attack on the most vulnerable section of society. This makes us look sub-humans, sub-normal.

When they talk about the WCA and being declared ‘fit for work’, it is on an big disgraceful assumption that is it absolutely wrong to believe disabled people can at all work. It is deeply worrying when this is the view of people like the editor of “Disability Now”, a previously leading publication and Scope’s mouthpiece, who is personally outraged people with learning difficulties and those with mental health issues are deemed able to work as shown here. As someone who claims to be the voice of all disabled people, his views are shocking.

The last few years are not helped the inclusion of real disabled people at all. I believe as I will say again and again, everyone is able to “work” in some way or another and it is about having a positive attitude, especially when we are under attack from the media and people who claim to represent us!
If you like what I say, have a look at my website at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974
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5 thoughts on “They assume unemployability

  1. You may be surprised to know that I agree with you, Simon, but the real problem is that the way work is set up in our capitalist society does exclude a very large number of people who are seriously ill rather than disabled. I also believe that there are some people who are so seriously ill (and I mean ill, not disabled) who could not work even if work was configured a great deal more flexibly than it is at the moment. The issue is not so much who could work if work was very much more flexible, but whether as a society we support everyone regardless of whether they are able to work or not. Much of the last few weeks have been spent on campaigning on PIP, which should support disabled people regardless of their employment status. The 20 metre walking criteria is ludicrous, and fails to acknowledge that 20 metres is such a short distance that it will fail to acknowledge the extra costs faced by many wheelchair users.

    As someone who has taken early retirement, I sometimes wonder how rich I would be if all the voluntary campaigning and engagement work I've done since retirement had been paid – quite rich, I think!

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  2. There's another issue that's really important in relation to the employability of disabled and sick people. That is, the Government is working really hard on trying to 'make' disabled and sick people work, but is paying no attention to discrimination by employers. This means, in economic terms, that they are concentrating all their effort and threats on the supply side – potential employees – but none on the demand side – employers who could employ disabled people. With discrimination still rife among employers, who will employ a sick or disabled person when there are thousands of non-disabled people looking for work?

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  3. Sorry but never ending excuses from a generation of people “on the sick” who do not wish to work. If you want to work, you will work and not wait for a socialist fuelled upotia to exist. Also, I would feel more comfortable at the sick movement propaganda about hard done they are, which you appear to be at heart off with this secret reporting by people “too scared” (I must wonder why) and middle class shock and horror at being asked anything by the government since they demand red carpet treatment at the taxpayers expense, IF I believed any of them cared about real disabled people like me! Unfortunately the people crying middle class foul about the Jobcentre daring to ring them on a bad day are the same who pity me in the street beliving I am better off dead. Why would I support anything with fuelled the message I am a victim of society who should be politely killed by my 'carers'??? What is too sick? I have bipolar, chronic pain and still work… your liberialism will simply allow alcohols, drug addicts and others who should get better and work to get a free ride, at the expense of the lives of real disabled people the Guardian would happy put in care homes (See their Christmas Appeal)!

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  4. The problem as I see it is that there has to be financial support for people too ill to work – be that due to flu, food poisoning or the effects of chemotherapy.
    That in itself is not the problem.
    If someone gets treatment, gets better, they can return to work, or job seeking.

    The problem starts when the financial support system created is one that is based on testing disability (or rather, testing physical functioning).

    But we have an allowance system for that – its DLA.

    I'd like to ask Government one question – At what point did you confuse sick people with disabled people?

    The fall-out of this is more than apparent.
    We have disabled people desperate to work, and being placed on a sickness benefit (and then being looked at as some sort of fraudulent scrounger – “But you dont look sick”).
    We have sick people being denied a peaceful treatment and recovery (constantly reassessing how “disabled” they are).

    We even have the bizarre situation of sick people getting life time awards of DLA when they could possibly get better!

    And hidden in all that mess are people who have aspects of all this:- sickness, and disability, fluctuating illness, fluctuating disability.

    Then the media, MP's, activists, society, charities, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all overlay their own vision of how its should be, what is fair, who is “deserving”…

    Makes you want to scream. 😦

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  5. Simon, I find it very difficult when you're so aggressive. Considering the work capability assessment to be flawed and inept is not the same as thinking disabled people shouldn't have to work. The concept of the work capability assessment is fine, but it has been used cynically to avoid providing legitimate support for people who need time to recover before they can return to work. The fact that you've decided you don't agree with me about anything simply because I've helped someone expose what's really going on with the WCA seems to me to be completely unfair.

    I don't know what you think you know about me, but I worked for many years as a disabled person, and even now the only benefit I claim is DLA. Just because I believe the WCA is making it harder for people to get better and get back to work, and that employers should be less discriminatory in their attitudes, doesn't make me the enemy!! But if you insist I am, that's fine, just a bit sad really when I very much believe that most disabled people can work given the right support.

    And just for the record, I'm against euthanasia and I don't think you, I or any other disabled person is better off dead!! As a disabled person, why on earth would I think that??

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