Members of Lewisham Speaking Up and The Tuesday Group
It's important for people with learning disabilities to have a job. Some people with learning disabilities really want a job but they need extra support.
Having a job is important because:
We are the same as other people
We have dreams of a better future like everyone else
We deserve to be treated equally but for people to give us extra support to get treated equally
Not to be discriminated against because we have a learning disability
It improves self esteem
Builds your confidence
Be counted as part of society, doing your bit
Both of us got support from Pathways and Mencap to get a job. Now day’s job centres are really helpful, perhaps they now receive training about supporting people with learning disabilities. In our experience there is more understanding and we are given time to answer questions. They also provide information in easy read and with pictures.
At Pathways they use to do something called a ‘job match’. This is where staff write a story with you, about the skills you have, what you are able to do and they go through they match jobs adverts to you. Then they support you to prepare for interviews. We have both done training and we role played interviews. This is really helpful practising and makes you more confident. It’s really good that people are out there who are on the side of people with learning disabilities.
I've got a cleaning job in Deptford. I work two hours every Saturday. Someone from the Aurora, who provides my home, helped me to look in the paper for jobs. I saw a job I liked and thought I could do it so we filled an application form. I then got an interview. I got support at the interview. They asked me a few questions like 'what am I like at keeping' and 'why do I want this job'. I got the job!
They support me every week to do the job. They show me things for the first time and then I can do it. Having a job makes me feel good about myself. I get paid monthly and it goes into my bank account.
My mum always thought of me. She helped to get jobs and feel more confident. She made me feel good, always telling me I am the same as others as everyone different
Pathways supported me to get a job at the Co-Op supermarket. I got a ‘job coach’ from Pathways. I was really nervous before, I wouldn't say boo to a goose but they gave me confidence and understood me, they went at my speed.
I learnt how to read bar codes, put fresh food at the back and older food at the front. I stack shelves, take out of date food, I wrap up the cages with boxes so they won't blow anywhere. I really enjoy helping other people, they call this customer service. If someone can’t find what they are looking for like cereal, I take them to the right aisle.
I work there every Tuesday from 10am to 2pm and I get paid every month which goes straight into bank account. I spend the money down the pub, no I'm joking! I’m saving up my wages to go on holiday to Southend. My friends are really proud of me and I’m really proud of them. I’m still looking for another job, like caring for older people.
We know that not everyone can hold down a job but it should be their choice. Please support people with learning disabilities to get a job if they want one. Because there should be employment for all!