The Ability People: Tackling Unemployment

When former Paralympian, Liz Johnson, learned of the very low number of working-age, unemployed disabled people in the UK, she knew something had to change.

Redefining the Workplace

Liz, who has competed for Team GB in three Paralympic Games, paired her successful sporting career with a business management degree.  Her degree took her to the world of recruitment, where her business idea ultimately stemmed from.

The Ability People is staffed by a team of employees who all live with a disability.  Liz herself has cerebral palsy and believes disabled people have the skills needed to become a good recruiter.  She describes how living with a disability means she and her fellow recruiters have a “unique perspective”.  Liz continued:

“We see talent that others miss.  After all, we’ve built careers by defying expectation.”

The Goal

The Ability People’s ethos is “supporting clients and candidates without bias” – ensuring they place the right person in the right job.  Both disabled and able-bodied job seekers and employers can approach the company.  Admittedly Liz hopes she has created an environment that encourages more disabled people to work with the company.  She notes:

“I’ve had 32 years to get used to my disability and as a Paralympic swimmer, I couldn’t hide my disability.  But not everyone feels that way.”

Providing the Right Working Environment

“We see talent that others miss.  After all, we’ve built careers by defying expectation.”

The Ability People argue flexible working is key.  They of course, live by their own advice.  Liz explains:

“For many companies, flexible working might mean adding a ramp, or making a computer screen larger for visually-impaired staff.  Or it might mean giving an employee the right to work three days and then asking which three days they choose.  That doesn’t always work for people with disabilities.  You might have three good days but be floored for a week.”

The Ability People strives because it puts its worker’s needs at the forefront.

To find out more about the company, or to register as a candidate, head over to their website:

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