Supporting Disabled People Into Work
16 January 2014
A project aiming to remove barriers to employment experienced by
disabled people has secured a Big Lottery Fund award of almost
Working directly with 100 Scottish employers, the Scottish Union
of Supported Employment (SUSE) will provide workshops and seminars to
assist employers to identify more opportunities for disabled people
in their workplaces.
SUSE is one of 13 organisations today sharing in over £9 million
from our Investing in Communities programme.
One person who has faced many obstacles on her road to
employment is 33 year old Lindsay Scott from Edinburgh. Lindsay
says: "I've had been partially sighted all of my life which I found
really hard but it wasn't until I was 21 that I was actually
registered with a visual impairment. Over the years my confidence
was knocked as I tried different jobs, none of which worked out.
When I left school I went to college to do hairdressing but was
told that I stood too close to the clients so that left me feeling
really low. I also tried working in a fast food restaurant but I
struggled when operating the computerised tills so that didn't work
The turning point for Lindsay came when she was referred to the
Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) through her local job
centre. She says: "I had been out of work for three or four years
at that point having had my daughter so I was very anxious about
going back into employment. Luckily I saw a disability adviser who
put me in touch with the Shaw Trust which is run through RNIB. From
there I secured a six month placement in their cafe."
With adjustments such as a bigger till, print and special
chopping board Lindsay soon found herself excelling. She then went
on to run the cafe in Falkirk for a year where she also trained up
other people. Now a permanent cafe supervisor with RNIB Lindsay,
says: "This Big Lottery Fund award is great news for disabled
people as it will make employers more aware of the adjustments that
they can put in place to help people like me find and stay in
employment. I can do the job just as well as someone with full
eyesight, I just need a few adjustments. Employers who don't give
disabled people a chance run the risk of letting good people slip
through their fingers."
Over the next four years the project run by SUSE will promote
equality and change attitudes within the workplace, as well as
creating career development opportunities for disabled people. It
will begin work in Ayrshire, Edinburgh and the Lothians before
being rolled out to the Scottish Borders and Highlands.
Welcoming the £694,969 award Kate Storrow, SUSE Chair, said: "We
are delighted to receive this Big Lottery Fund award to support the
development of a new service targeted at employers and employer
organisations. SUSE and its members know that in order to
ensure the numbers of disabled people who enter the labour market
in Scotland increases, work with employers and employer's
organisations is vital. We aim to raise awareness of the
support available from local organisations to support the needs of
disabled people in the workforce and to support our members to
provide the practical advice, help and support to employers and
their organisations in order to make a real difference in the lives
of disabled people in Scotland.
Maureen McGinn Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair said: "I am
delighted that the Big Lottery Fund is supporting this valuable
project which has the potential to make a significant difference to
disabled people in Scotland. By focussing on the skills of people
like Lindsay rather than their disability, this project promises to
bring real change for those disabled people looking for career
Find out which other groups are celebrating Investing in
Communities grants today here.
Big Lottery Fund Scotland are still accepting applications
to their Investing in Communities programme. If you have
a project idea you can contact the Big Advice Team to discuss it further.
Source: The Big Blog Scotland