A GOLCAR woman is helping to investigate whether disabled job seekers are still facing discrimination.
Rebecca Unsworth, who has muscle wasting condition central core disease, is among over 200 young disabled campaigners taking part in the investigation into employment.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 aimed to improve equality in employment,
But 15 years on many job seekers with a disability say they are still facing adversity.
Shocking figures from The Employers Forum on Disability show the poverty rate for disabled adults in the UK is 30% – double that of non-disabled adults.
Rebecca, 27, is part of Trailblazers, a campaigning group for young disabled people run by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
They will be revealing any inequality in employment with a full, undercover investigation.
Campaigners like Rebecca will be putting their area under the spotlight by examining businesses both locally and further afield in their region.
Rebecca, a childcare and disability studies student, said: “When I apply for jobs I want to have the same chance as anyone else has and not be discriminated against because I’m in a wheelchair.
“At the moment I’m doing work experience for teaching and I’m lucky because I’m in a school that has a special disabled unit attached to it, so the access is great.
“But I do feel that accessibility to the building could limit my choice of schools to work in when I apply for jobs.”
Trailblazers believe disabled people and their non-disabled peers deserve exactly the same chances at finding employment.
But statistics show that there are 1.3m disabled people in the UK who want to work but cannot find a job.
Only half of working age disabled people are in work, compared with 80% of working age, non-disabled people.
Campaigners will be examining employers and businesses to see how disability friendly they really are.
Not much detail could be revealed about the investigation, but it will involve participants attending interviews at job centres and applying for jobs with different companies to see how their applications are treated.
Bobby Ancil, project manager for Trailblazers, said: “We are hoping our investigation will show there is equality in employment for disabled people, but stories we’ve heard so far suggest there is still discrimination going on.
“The Disability Discrimination Act should have made sure that disabled people had as good a chance at finding employment as their non-disabled peers, but 15 years on we are still hearing this is not always the case.
“Hopefully the Trailblazers report will highlight some of these issues and be a step forward in making sure people with a disability have a fair chance at getting a job like everyone else.”
The employment investigation will be ongoing for the next few months and the findings will be published in a report in June.