Following an accident in 2013, I was left paralysed from the neck down leaving me permanently in a wheelchair and requiring 24/7 care. I always had an aspiration and drive to go back to work but wasn’t sure how I would be treated by potential employers. Though this journey hasn’t been without its challenges, I worked for two organisations, prior to Insight, who were very supportive in my career progression.
From the application through to the interview stage, I was worried that Insight wouldn’t see passed my circumstances, so I didn’t tell them about my disability until I turned up for the interview! I couldn’t have been more wrong. Thankfully, Insight also sees ability rather than disability too. From the interview onwards, Insight have been nothing but accommodating and provided me with all the equipment and support I need. Insight is an exceptional place to work and champions diversity and inclusion.
My advice to others in a similar situation would be to identify employers who are Disability Confident recognised and have an “Access to Work” scheme. Once identified, I would email or call the employer to understand what they have in place to support you. If this is a new situation for you, there is support outside of the workplace as well. For support for those with a spinal injury, like myself, I would contact charities such as the Spinal Injuries Association and Access to Work to understand what support is available. Access to Work will help financially with traveling to and from work, purchasing equipment and a personal assistant, if needed.
Due to the nature of my injury I fall into the severely disabled category. As part of the Diversity and Inclusion initiative at Insight, I hope to be able to offer support to other individuals to show how they can still have a career regardless of personal circumstance.