I am just trying to find work opportunities that clearly define what accommodations can be used, but it is rather difficult. I don’t want to rush into anything. So I’m changing my plans. I don’t want to work, I want to advocate. My life is very fluid so change is welcomed.
I want to advocate for individuals who have disabilities. I am disabled myself and I am finding it so hard to find productive activities to pass the time. I don’t have hobbies, nor do I have many friends, and I want to live on my own some day.
Rent is more expensive in the long term than buying a house, so I don’t plan to rent. Even if I inherited the wealth of a rich, late uncle (I don’t have a rich uncle and I wouldn’t be inheriting anything, this is just to make a point) money doesn’t last forever and house payments don’t wait. I would be evicted and back at square one.
So how does one avoid this? They make money! I’m a disabled person, which is very evident to see. The seeing part is how most of you sighted people judge people superficially unfortunately. Discrimination is a hard thing to deal with for anyone. It’s a true shame.
So… now that we’ve established that life as an adult—with or without disabilities—living in the United States of America is not free, how does someone get a job?
My first attempt at finding something to do was in October of 2020. It was recommended by my Nana that I try to get a job at her church working in the preschool. I thought that was a great idea, and I arranged an interview with the person who hires people. I don’t know if this person is a teacher. Either way, we have an in person meeting in her tiny office. I hand over my resume (I should have looked at it first because it wasn’t updated) and talk about teaching/coming up with lesson plans. I even showed a sample lesson plan I had made in college for preschoolers. Everything was looking good. Once I get back home I realized I gave an outdated resume and decided to email it. Once I get an email back, I read it and unfortunately didn’t get the job. But the reason I wasn’t hired, in her words, was,
“I fear that it may be very difficult for you to lift the children for diaper changes and sometimes our children, all ages, will run from us in the hallways or on the playground when it’s time to go inside. If that happens, it may be very difficult for you to chase after them…”
In the same email, it is noted that my resume definitely shows I’m a good candidate for the job. The reason I wasn’t hired was because the interviewer assumed I could not preform daily work tasks that I hadn’t even demonstrated in the interview. I was denied a job because I didn’t look like I could lift or chase a child. And unfortunately for the interviewer, her discrimination was through email, so I still have it.
I was discouraged from getting a job after realizing that some people hire based on looks alone. So I’ve been stuck ever since. I want to advocate for individuals with disabilities for many reasons, one definitely being so they don’t have to apply for jobs and be turned away because of their disabilities. First of all, it’s illegal to discriminate based on disabilities. I have no clue what gave the interviewer the idea that what she said was acceptable. The interview seemed fine, I wasn’t given the ability to demonstrate what I was being judged on. I want to teach people about how to talk to people with disabilities. My disabled ex boyfriend didn’t know how to talk to me right, and I think if the curricula becomes more inclusive, to disabled people, LGBTQIA+ people, to all the minorities… I think after a few generations people can be fearless of unjust judgement and discrimination.
Dare I reference Bill Nye? If the general curriculum in schools can adapt and become more inclusive, we can … dare I say it … change the world.