Updated: Aug 22
If this sounds familiar to you, it's because you've probably heard it before.
I have been living with paraplegia for seventeen years. After suffering from
spinal injuries in 2005, my life has changed in many ways than one.
It was not just the fact that I was now unable to walk. There are other life-changing effects associated with a spinal injury, such as mobility being the main fact.
In the beginning, I found it very difficult to cope with these new changes, so it also affected me emotionally and mentally. On top of that, I had to live in a society that looked down on people living with a disability. For me, that was the hardest part of all.
In my last blog, I mentioned an ordeal I experienced while working at a restaurant where the restaurant owner told me that he would have to let me go.
Soon came to find out that he let me go because I was in a wheelchair, and he thought my image of being disabled would harm his business.
Its mentality, like his, really bothered me the most while adjusting to my new lifestyle of living and coping with my disability.
Years have passed since that ordeal, and I am finding that society and employers are becoming more accepting of people living with a disability recently attended a fundraising event organised by Levy UK and British Paralympic Association for people living with disability and sports opportunities as Paralympics events. The event also raised awareness of equality and diversity in the workplace for disabled employees.
Groups of employers from different businesses shared their desire to open more opportunities to the disabled community. Also, there were Paralympic athletes to help motivate those like myself who intend to pursue a sporting career.
I was lucky to meet people such as Gold Medal-winning Paralympic Champion Aaron Phipps
while attending this event.
The world is changing in many ways, but in the positive when accepting people living with their disabilities in the workplace.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those for making this possible. It is pretty satisfying that many companies are open to hiring disabled people and making reasonable adjustments to their work environment. However, it is still not enough because many disabled people are still excluded from social and work communities.
It will help if more companies train employees about equality and diversity so all disabled employees or workers will not feel excluded anymore.