Careers > Disabled… but able to work

Posted on October 12, 2016

disability

Alternative Abilities Ambassador Chris Cooper gives advice to disabled people who might be better off working
As disabled people, benefits have always been a huge part of our lives. I am highly dependent on disability benefits.

But having a learning difficulty doesn’t mean I’m not able to work. I wanted to but was so concerned. I heard stories in the media about scandals involving disabled people committing suicide after being declared fit to work and having their benefits cut.

This affected my ambition of earning a decent wage. I feared that my benefits could be cut.

However, that’s because I did not have full understanding of the benefits system. This made me feel isolated.

That’s until I joined Scope, a charity which gives disabled people a chance to look for opportunities, applying for college or looking for work.

Scope helped me find a job and assisted me into the workplace.

Now I am working part time as an office assistant at Red Brick Road, a creative agency in Clerkenwell. The organisation works with different clients, big names like Suzuki Motorcycle Company and L’Oreal, a make up company.

Scope helped me find a job and assisted me into the workplace

I do accounts, making sure the money goes to the right people, and also design posters.

Scope negotiated with my employer how much I worked and earned to ensure my benefits weren’t affected.

I work for Red Brick Road and Exposure because both these organisations are disability friendly environments in the creative industry. I hope from these opportunities that I will have more influence within the disability community.

My role at Exposure is very important, giving me an independent voice rather than relying on local authority organisations that don’t seem to have capacity to help young people like me.

Here’s my advice to young people: although we face many challenges and there are a lot of negative stories in the news that affect us, there are organisations that exist to help young disabled people become more independent and make important choice in their life, so that we don’t have to rely only on the government.

More government information on disability benefit is available here.

For advice getting paid work while on benefits visit Scope future ambitions.

Scope’s phone number: 0808 800 3333
Scope’s email: future@scope.org.uk

Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper is Exposure’s legendary Alternative Abilities Ambassador. When he’s not being an example to young people with disabilities and championing their rights, he enjoys art, ice-skating and photography.

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4 Responses to Disabled… but able to work

  1. shakira October 21, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    This is epic! I subscribe to Scope’s blog posts – their End the Awkward campaign is trying to change stigmas against disabled people. I didn’t know they help in finding jobs as well… Kind of like Exposure.

    I hope one day all workplaces do not discriminate because of disability.

    http://www.scope.org.uk/end-the-awkward

  2. Hayaati October 28, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    This is a brilliant article chris! Its also so brave and touching. Well done for speaking on behalf of people who thought they could never get their voices heard!

  3. Kiera November 17, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    This is a really great insightful article Chris, it addresses the issues many people have in finding their own independence and how to succeed through using your own experiences as examples.

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  1. How Scope helps young disabled people find work | Exposure - April 11, 2017

    […] feel lucky to have taken part in Future Ambitions. Scope helped me go over my CV and ensured that I would be […]

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