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At age 26, disabled young people are nearly four times as likely to be unemployed or involuntarily out of work than non-disabled young people. When we first met Azar, he’d been looking for a job for a while but was getting nowhere. He just didn’t know what would happen next.
“Because of my disability, people are like ‘he can't do this’, ‘he can't do that’, and it hurts in a way, but sometimes, you know, you've got to just take it on the chin. Yes I have a disability but it doesn't mean that you can't work through that by practising, working on it and trying to find out ways of making yourself better.”
“After I left college I was looking for a job as normal people do. I just wanted experience, even if it was just working in Sainsbury's, Tesco’s. I applied to a lot of them and I got rejected by all of them. So that's how I was thinking, what's going to happen next? What's going to happen, what's the best for me?
“I remember a lot of times in my interviews I didn’t want to say that I had a disability. I didn’t want to address it. But they would pick up on it because of the way I speak, the way I walk, they would pick up that I was lying.”
Disabled young people face a tough transition into adulthood and independence. But thanks to you, we can be there for them.
“When I met Vicky from Scope, she asked me ‘anything you want any help with?’ because she knew I have a disability. And I asked ‘can you give me a job?’ She said she’d try.
“And a few weeks later she gave me a call, and she said that there's this programme, First Impressions. At first, when she told me about it, I thought it's not a job, it's more of a course, and I wouldn't be getting paid. But then I thought about it. I had a flashback of my previous interviews which went well, until they talked about my disability.
Closing the employment gap between disabled people and non-disabled people would boost the economy by £13 billion.
“I think the main thing the course gave me was an optimistic point of view where I think I can actually get this job, I actually have a chance. The programme taught me how to recognise that you can do the job and if anything you've got an advantage over other people. Because you can say I'm at the same place as these people but I've also got a disability. It just shows your extra strong character. I think Scope had a big impact on me.
“Right now I've just chosen to do a Business Management course at Westminster University. I got an access scholarship with help from Scope. My dream job is to become a Forex trader. I want to trade in the financial markets. Since doing the course I'm working in a hair salon and I'm also starting a business with my uncle. I know what I want to be, getting the money, saving it up and investing, so that I can have my dream job.
Without Scope I don't know what I’d be doing now. I’d be jobless, probably at home, playing my X Box, watching TV. Without Scope, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I wouldn’t be able to explain my disability in a confident manner. I'd probably be doing nothing.
Only around half of all working age disabled people are in work. You're helping us change this. Thank you.
I had no way of explaining to them that my disability is not a weakness, it's a strength
Find out how @Scope is helping people to feel more confident about disability. Help us #EndTheAwkward http://bit.ly/2egoZQx