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“Disabled people with all the skills to do the job are being repeatedly passed over for roles, while others are being forced to apply for jobs which they know they are overqualified for.
“Employers are missing out on the talent they badly need because they don’t have the right support in place or because of outdated attitudes towards disability.” A DWP spokesperson said: “Almost 600,000 disabled people have entered work in the last four years.
“When I got to about 150 jobs, I just thought I don’t think I’m ever going to get anything. But I just thought I was never going to get a job,” she said. I became really down because I knew I could do it, and it’s just waiting for that one person to take a chance on you.
“I actually ended up getting an administration job with a social enterprise that I had to travel an hour and 40 minutes to get to, because that was the only job I got offered.” The company Ms Pitt worked for was “amazing” at ensuring her needs were met, she said, with a Government scheme called Access to Work providing things like screen readers on her computer. At that interview, they obviously wanted to know how it was going to work with me being disabled, but they obviously recognised my skills,” she added.
As a graduate with three A-levels, she didn’t expect finding a job would be too difficult.
But it took her nine months to get into work, during which she applied for 250 roles, which led to just four telephone interviews and three face-to-face interviews.
They think they’ll have to pay so they don’t take the chance." Ms Pitt, who now works for the Department of Work and Pensions, said she was the first disabled person her previous company employed, and was often the first disabled person interviewers had considered for a job.
People would ask me for telephone interviews and then after I said I was visually impaired, nothing would come of it.
I applied for over 250 jobs, and got four phone interviews and three face-to-face interviews.
“I could tell they were judging me because I was disabled, because of the way - especially in telephone interviews – I would say I’m visually impaired if they hadn't read my CV, because I felt it was important that I was honest from the start, and the interviewer would often go a bit cold.
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword, because you want them to want you for who you are, so you tell them.
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It comes just weeks after the Government was criticised by the United Nations for failing to uphold the rights of disabled people through a string of austerity policies.