Emily's employment story
Lewis, one of our supported employment coaches, blogs about Emily's employment story.
Emily is a kind, caring, ambitious and determined person who is supported by SeeAbility to help live an independent and ambitious life. Her lived experience of disabillity has driven her to fight for change, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their disability, has a voice and equitable opportunities to thrive in life.
Ready, Willing and Able is a supported employment programme for people with learning disabilities and autism. The programme aims to help people build their skills and confidence, so they can find the jobs that are right for them. Prior to joining Ready, Willing and Able, Emily had experience working closely with SeeAbility to write blogs and articles highlighting the challenges those with disabilities face. She’s also been campaigning for disability rights across the UK, which has included lobbying her local MP to make Seaford more accessible and sharing her lived experience to promote accessibility and awareness.
When I started working with Emily at the beginning of 2021, I wanted to focus on what motivated her, what she felt passionately about. It was important that we identified and focused on this from the beginning of her job search, and that we were only targeting opportunities where Emily would feel fulfilled.
The job hunt begins!
Between April 2022 and January 2023, we applied to 26 different jobs, ranging from advocacy-based roles to customer-service positions. Emily was happy to consider a wide range of opportunities if, and only if, they enabled her to fulfil her true passion: helping people. Even though Emily wasn’t successful in the first interview process she participated in, she didn’t allow this to deter her. It just made her more driven to succeed. We ramped up the application process further, and before long Emily was offered an interview with Choice Support for a position as an ‘Expert by Experience’.
This position was immediately attractive to Emily, as it is an opportunity for her to enable others with disabilities to have a voice, for her to drive for services to become more inclusive and accessible, and a chance to use her unique perspective for good.
After hearing the news that she got the job, Emily immediately threw her hands up into the air and shouted ‘Yes!’: all her hard work, dedication, and determination to securing paid work had finally paid off. Emily is very excited to start:
"It felt so good to be offered the role on the same day. How often does that happen? I’m feeling excited: can I start now?"