Authorities wants to offer folks of all talents an opportunity on the job market

THE PANDEMIC WILL make it difficult for anyone trying to find a job, but especially people with different skills because, as always, we will be the ones to be forgotten.

Some companies are not reopening, others are not as busy, and some are also reducing the number of employees due to social distancing.

I have a feeling that there will be too much competition because more people will be looking for jobs. I’m afraid I’ll get lost in all of this.

I have an invisible disability, but I am always honest with employers. I don’t want to hide who I am !! But when you hear the truth, you don’t want me to work for you. This only gets worse after Covid-19.

  • Read more about how you can support a large notable project related to the impact of the pandemic on jobs for people with disabilities here.

Not even given a chance

The latest figures show that 71% of working-age adults with a disability in Ireland are inactive and much more needs to be done.

Even before the pandemic, I found the application process difficult and needed the support of my job trainer for online applications. Together we applied for many jobs online, but I’ve only ever heard of one of these places.

Craig Kelly promotes inclusion at a conference

When I finally got an interview, I was very excited and prepared for days. I was confident before going in and it went great until I mentioned the fact that I had a job coach.

When my potential employers asked what a job coach was, I told them that they help people with disabilities find work.

Their faces fell and I could tell by their body language that they didn’t want me to work there or even hire me to give me a chance.

I was really upset about it. I felt like an idiot. I was scared that I wouldn’t have the confidence or the heart to do another interview and I felt like nobody would ever want me.

Political and financial support is required

Ability @ Work helped me with this. I’m still very nervous about interviews, especially when there is more than one person around. This experience affects me to this day.

One simple change that would make a huge difference would be if companies included this line in their ads: “People with different skills can work here too.” Then it would make me and others less nervous to apply.

It would also be helpful if the word “ability” were used instead of “disability” as it would change the way people think.

Funding for people with disabilities trying to get into work is also threatened. For example, the Ability @ Work program that helped me now has just one year left.

I’m angry that all of their good work could come to an end due to lack of money, resulting in even fewer opportunities for people like me, on top of the effects of the pandemic.

We deserve equal opportunities

I hope the new administration will give us a chance and show us a change in policy. However, I worry that it will focus on other employment related issues and we will not be important to them.

The government should get employers everywhere to hire a certain number of people with different skills, and that should be the law.

I want to meet the new Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, on these issues because we deserve equal opportunities. As Ireland has the lowest employment rate for people with disabilities in the EU, this is clearly not the case at present.


Craig Kelly is the first President of the Ability Board, founded in March 2020 by Ability @ Work, led by the Cope Foundation. The board consists entirely of people with disabilities and aims to fight for their rights, with an emphasis on employment rights.

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CLOSING THE DOOR Investigation

Would you like to know if the pandemic is making it even more difficult for people with disabilities to find work in Ireland?

The remarkable team wants to examine in depth whether the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committees were implemented two years ago on how Ireland differs from our European neighbors in terms of the support and impact of the “new normal” on vulnerable groups.

Find out how you can support this proposal here>

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