There are hundreds of thousands of people living with hidden disabilities in Ireland who face barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of our society. When Headway, Brain Injury Services & Support and Epilepsy Ireland launched I See Beyond in 2016, there was a huge groundswell of support with people from all over the globe showing their support for people living with a hidden disability using social media to spread the message to ‘see beyond’.
This incredible support and engagement with the campaign has given us the confidence to continue the conversation. This time with employers. We know that people with hidden disabilities like acquired brain injury and epilepsy are making valuable contributions in the workforce but they face numerous barriers.
An interview for a job that we are eager to land; doing our best to impress with our skills, our experience, persuading them that we can be asset is testing for anyone. But for persons with a hidden disability like ABI or Epilepsy an interview carries the added burden of having to decide whether to disclose the challenges they face. The fear of negative attitudes and discrimination based on pre-conceived notions about their capabilities, their potentials, their abilities to contribute can be terrifying.
With this next phase of our campaign I See Beyond, Headway, Brain Injury Services & Support and Epilepsy Ireland want to dispel the myth that persons with hidden disabilities like an acquired brain injury or epilepsy are unable to contribute in the workplace.
We have made 6 short videos to address how with reasonable accommodation people can not only make good employees, but that companies benefit from employing them. Changing workplace environments and advances in information and communications technologies are giving people new avenues for seeking decent work. At Headway and Epilepsy Ireland we are adamant to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual.
To celebrate the courage and tenacity of our clients as well as recognise the contribution being made by employers who support the many individuals who go to work each day despite all the odds. We are launching the National Hidden Disability Awards.
Headway, Brain Injury Services & Support and Epilepsy Ireland are launching The National Hidden Disability Awards to honour and recognise the outstanding achievements of Employers that have improved the lives of people with a hidden disability and contributed to increased recognition of equality and human rights for all.
We are calling on people with hidden disabilities to stand up and nominate their employer for the steps they have taken to make reasonable accommodation for their employees. To showcase the small steps that people take that can make a big difference. Help us celebrate employers who have got it right and who have the ability to See Beyond.
Any person nominating their company or small business for the ‘Hidden Disability Awards 2017’ must ensure that their company or organisation is registered in the Republic of Ireland.
Providing your company is registered in the Republic of Ireland and employs more than ten persons.