Timothy Wall

6 years ago · 2 min. reading time · ~10 ·

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Beyond Capable

Beyond Capable

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Why does the thought of hiring people with disabilities turn employers off?

Ignorance, which fuels fear, and fear fuels suspicion.

When you think of hiring someone with a disability, be honest, what are the first thoughts / feelings that come to mind. (pause)

It goes back to primal "instinct", what if it's something that may affect me? Is it possible this person carries something "catchy"? What will the "tribe" think? Will it impact my business productivity and profits? After all a disabled person can't perform up to "normal" standards, can they?

Have you ever lived through a really bad flu? Not pleasant is it? Well... imagine struggling with something on a daily basis that is out of your control.

I find it somewhat humorous and ironic, when famous public figures in sports or acting go public about their personal disabilities, they seem to get a free social pass, suddenly all is forgiven. Oh but, they're successful, and rich. They got that way while still struggling with a disability, albeit they kept it silent. Why should this be the case?

There are countless examples where social stigma inhibits success, and yet when given the opportunity, these people do amazing things!

The Tuskegee Airmen, comes to mind. Although the latter is a race issue, it boils down to the same thought process, "Ignorance, which fuels fear, and fear fuels suspicion."

I live in a rural area dominated by whites. A community to the east is thriving and bringing in much needed immigrant labour to fill positions. Local people feel it's "below them" to take on such employment. What do I hear at coffee row, "They're taking our jobs." "I hear that in twenty years they will take over." "I'm not a racist, but I can't stand seeing someone wearing a turban inside the Canadian Parliament." My answer is, why aren't you taking that job? Why aren't you running for office? Because it's easier to sit on one's ass and complain.

"Ignorance, fuels fear, and fear fuels suspicion or hate."

There are different degrees of disabilities. A psychology professor of mine stated in a lecture, that "80% of the population is struggling with some sort of mental health disorder." That's a lot of people! What are the odds you are in that category, yet haven't been diagnosed?

I have several non-visible disabilities which inhibit my daily life to the point where work is no longer a reality. I hold a degree in Zoology (honours). This isn't a picnic, and I'm certainly not lazy, my degree proves that. So how do I supplement my meagre $950.00 per month pension? I had to fall back on the only thing I had left in my "deck of cards". My artistic talent. I create beautiful paintings, two of which were recognized by NASA!

My talent allows me to perform in spurts, when I have the energy to do so. It took me 14 years to complete the 41 paintings I have completed to date. Almost 3 per year.

The last thing I'm looking for is sympathy!

Judge my art work on the basis of merit. If you are so inclined, make a purchase. I've never had anyone return one from disappointment.

So in keeping with Richard Branson's three year campaign, click on, google, or share the hashtag #workwithme. You just might find someone who can not just meet your expectations, but exceed them beyond your wildest imagination.


 

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