We want to work, just like you
Tyrone Cook has multiple disabilities and wants to work. He asks employers to look past what he can't do, to see what he can.
Looking through advertisements for jobs I see - "must have computer experience, good phone manner, good people skills..." - these skills I have. Then I see five often-used words that stop me in my tracks: "must have full drivers licence".
There are two things I can do, either keep looking through the listings or apply anyway in hope that my other skills meet their requirements.
Every time I fill in an application, I mention that although I cannot drive, I have a driver funded for me through an organisation that supports people with disabilities in getting and keeping a job. The employers never reply.
I hear my friends with disabilities getting called bludgers, and my mum has even said to me, "people on benefits live off my taxes".
The Social Development Minister wants people off benefits and wants to introduce work ability testing. This upsets me.
Many of us with disabilities would love to work, just like you. But employers see the words "wheelchair user, blind, deaf or brain injury" and we haven't got a shot in hell of getting a position that we know we could do, if only given a chance.
All I want is to be able to enter an office and show an employer what I can do. To say, "OK, I cannot drive but look at what I can do".
All I want is for an employer to say, "come on in, Mr Cook, I wish to see what you can do for me".
You will find that people with disabilities are keen to work, hard workers, if given a chance, will be loyal employees.
If you wish to contact Tyrone Cook, you can email THC.Cook@rocketmail.com.