“When I became disabled, I applied for job after job. I got rejected again and again…”

Simone had never had a problem getting a job, but she had never applied as a disabled person before. Below she shares her story about how hard it was to find work after she became disabled. You can donate today to support more disabled people into work. Simone shares her experiences.

If you’d spoken to me when I started my job search, I would have told you this: ‘I’m sure I’ll find work without a problem. I feel confident and positive. I’ve got good qualifications, references and experience.’

Just over a year later, I was like a different person. My confidence was at an all time low. My self-belief had gone. I felt worthless – and when do you ever see an employer looking for that?

A woman waiting at a bus stop

It was like falling into a black hole

How did it happen? Well, like many disabled people, I applied for job after job without success. It was like I’d fallen into a black hole. I didn’t get a single response. Not one. When I looked for support, I couldn’t find any for disabled people, and I ended up feeling very low.

I think I would still be feeling like that – and I still wouldn’t have a job – if it hadn’t been for Scope.

I’d never had any problem getting work before, but then I’d never applied as a disabled person before. I had no idea the discrimination I’d face.

Woman sitting in a chair in a white top and blond hair, looking thoughtful

I was in my last role for 13 years and progressed from working in payroll to HR, until I developed RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in my arms and hands. An operation didn’t fix it – the pain was so bad. I ended up leaving my job to re-assess the type of work I should do.

A short time later, I started looking for employment in an office setting, but as I discovered, applying as a disabled person is completely different – it means being overlooked again and again, despite meeting all the requirements.

Losing confidence

I persisted for more than a year. As time went by, I started to feel I wasn’t worthy of a job, despite having a great career history. It was like all my qualifications had been for nothing. One day, I woke up feeling absolutely sick of it. I did yet another search and this time I found Scope.

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The response I got was completely different. Zaid, one of Scope’s Employment Advisors, looked through my CV and said he was sure he could help. Zaid’s advice was invaluable. He helped me find a positive way to tell employers about my impairment.

I re-did my CV and changed the way I filled in application forms. It paid off almost straightaway – I got an interview for an Operations Assistant role. Thanks to Zaid, I went into it with a feeling of confidence I hadn’t had for a long time. He enabled me to see I had all the skills needed and – guess what? – I was offered the job.

A reason to smile

I felt so uplifted. I was so happy and excited. I accepted, and it has made such a huge difference to every part of my life.

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I enjoy going to work and making the office run smoothly. I can now afford to take my children out and have fun. I find myself smiling a lot more.

Now I just want to make sure other disabled people receive the same kind of support I got. Please will you send a gift to help Scope support more disabled people like me into work – changing their life?

The difference you could make

You could help provide the kind of personalised support that made all the difference to me. Some disabled people may need to gain experience or qualifications first and Scope can help with that. Your donation will also help Scope to address the bigger picture – campaigning to change attitudes and working with employers to make more opportunities available to disabled people like me.

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The truth is, a job means so much – it’s a chance to use your skills, be financially secure, make friends and feel useful. For a disabled person a job can mean the chance to live the life that they choose. That’s why I’m asking for your generous support today. Thank you.

More people are working in the UK today than ever before, but only 49.6% of disabled people are employed. Without work, disabled people face financial insecurity. They are sidelined in the workplace and in society. Their potential goes untapped, their talents and energy unused and their life opportunities are limited.

Donate today to help support more disabled people into the workplace. 

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Until then, we'll be here.

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