People with cerebral palsy have a lot of skills and strengths to bring to the workplace, however, are often overlooked due to their perceived limitations. It can be discouraging if you have been overlooked for jobs or not given a fair go. Looking for a job can feel daunting if you are living with symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and loss of balance on a daily basis.
During the job interview, focus on skills and abilities and build a rapport with the interviewer. This way, people with cerebral palsy can demonstrate that they are the best fit for the role.
We’ve put together some tips and strategies to people with cerebral palsy find and keep a job they love.
Having a job can be an important part of someone’s life. Work provides us with social interaction, greater financial freedom, confidence, and a sense of freedom. No matter who you are or what your disability is, if you want to work, there is a job out there that is right for you. This is especially true for people with cerebral palsy, like Adam and Taylah.
At EPIC Assist, we understand that everyone is different. We offer a personalised service to people with cerebral palsy and provide the support they need to find and prepare for the right role.
Some may be ready to join the workplace right away, while other people may need to undertake training to ensure they have the skills and confidence to succeed in the workplace. Find out more about what job seekers and businesses can expect when they connect with EPIC Assist.
Do the research
Before attending a job interview, do some research about the company. Try to include their website, social media, reviews, and news in your research. Any knowledge about the organisation you want to work for will help you stand out as a candidate and make sure the workplace is right for you.
Also take note of the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses and try to match them to your skills. You can do the same for any changes and opportunities you may come across in your research.
If you are unable to figure out if they are an accessible workplace, you may want to prepare some questions to ask your interviewer.
Questions such as ‘what are your accessibility practices?’ can give you an idea of what workplace adjustments you may or may not need.
Plan and prepare
To prepare for your interview, take note of any experience and skills that are relevant to the position. It is likely you will be asked questions based on experience you may have in the workplace. It is easiest to answer these kinds of questions when you understand what experience and skills you bring to the position.
You should also look up some common interview questions and practice answering them. This can help you feel more prepared.
Practice responding to these questions using the STAR method:
Situation – Describe the situation, be specific.
Task – Describe what needs to be done.
Action – Describe what you did, what tools did you use.
Result – Describe the results or achievements.
Dressing professionally for a job interview leaves a very good impression. Looking clean and professional can also increase your confidence.
The Disability Act 1992 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person with disability. Employers legally cannot reject qualified job applicants who are able to complete the essential job role functions because they have a disability.
- ask job applicants in job interviews if they are able to perform essential job role functions
- ask if job applicants need any workplace adjustments to complete their role
- ask if there are any barriers to a job applicant’s availability.
- ask about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability
- ask how your disability affects you in your personal life
- ask if you receive any government benefits
- ask how much it will cost to accommodate your disability
- ask if you are currently working
Employers are legally allowed to ask what workplace adjustments you may require. If they do not ask, consider raising the question yourself. Workplace adjustments are often necessary to ensure you are comfortable and productive. They also ensure you have equal opportunities and development in the workplace. You are well within your rights to ask for workplace adjustments should you need them.
Workplace adjustments can include:
- specially designed equipment that can enable you to do your job well
- accessible buildings and workplaces
- completing work remotely
- flexible hours and days off for pain management and medical appointments
- adjustments to work related communications to make them accessible.
Establishing workplace adjustments during the interview is important because it ensures adjustments can be made prior to your first day in the workplace. However, these adjustments can be made at any time during the employment process.
EPIC Assist is experienced in helping workplaces make these adjustments. Consider contacting us to help you with this process.
We don’t just help people find a job, we make sure they have the skills and support needed to work long-term.
Some people may need little to no support, whereas some may need weeks, months, maybe a year of support, and that is okay. We work alongside them at their workplace for as long as they need.
Having on the job support can help you get settled in your workplace and can lead to greater confidence and development of skills.
We help people with cerebral palsy to find and gain meaningful employment. We support them on their employment journey until our assistance is no longer needed.
We believe people with cerebral palsy are more than capable of working, and just need opportunities to prove themselves. We can help people with cerebral palsy that come to EPIC:
- through Centrelink, where they choose EPIC as their Disability Employment Services provider
- by self-referring, which means they come straight to us and do not go to Centrelink first
- to undertake job preparation activities through School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) with their NDIS plans if they are a school leaver or school student in Tasmania.
No matter how people access our services, we support them to gain and keep employment, as well as develop work and life skills. We work alongside people with disability to discover their strengths and talents, as well any gaps in skills. We can provide training to help them reach their employment goals.
If you would like to find out more about our services for people with cerebral palsy, contact us today.