On Wednesday Muscular Dystrophy UK Trailblazers held the second meeting of the Young Disabled Person’s Working Group on Employment at the Guildhall. The Working Group is part of MDUK’s policy work on disabled employment funded by the City Bridge Trust. The meeting was attended a variety of young disabled people who are both in work and looking for work which made for great discussion and gave people a chance to share tips with each other on how to navigate the daunting world of work.
Everyone who attended was passionate about removing the barriers disabled people face when trying to find work and very keen to help MDUK create will-informed policy to do this. The disability employment gap has been the topic of several news stories in the past few months, including on the Government’s Strategy to get 1 million more disabled people into work Government’s Strategy to get 1 million more disabled people into work in the next 5 years, which gave the Working Group great deal to discuss.
The meeting was also attended by several members of the City Bridge Trust who were keen to hear about the experiences of young disabled people. James Lee who was in attendance said:
“It was incredibly valuable to hear first- hand from young disabled people about the barriers to employment which they face. The meeting provided plenty of discussion points, actions to take forward and served as a powerful reminder of how far society still needs to go to ensure equality of opportunity. Trailblazers provides such an important platform for young disabled people to have their voice heard and the City Bridge Trust is proud to support the valuable work of Trailblazers and Muscular Dystrophy UK.”
Clive Gilbert, a Working Group member who has attended both meetings said:
“Another really insightful and well-informed discussion. While securing employment as a disabled person can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle, it seems clear that many of the challenges arise from negative attitudes and unwanted assumptions on the part of employers. Every meeting of our working group brings ample evidence that dispelling these myths would yield immense benefits, not just for disabled people, but also for employers and society as a whole.”
MDUK’s Employability Officer Emma Vogelmann who led the meeting said:
“I am so pleased with how the second meeting of the Working Group went. We had returning members and people who had never been to a Trailblazers event before attend. All of the experiences shared will really help MDUK create effective policy recommendations.”
If you’re a young disabled person and would like to join the working group, email Emma.
Trailblazers has now moved to pan-disability charity Whizz-Kidz (September 2020).