Insights Breaking Down Workplace Barriers for People with Learning Disabilities
21 November 2019

Breaking Down Workplace Barriers for People with Learning Disabilities

Learning Disability Week Feature Image

Two determined and enthusiastic workers from Plymouth are proving to be great advocates for employing people with learning disabilities.

With only 6% of people with a learning disability being in paid employment, this week’s Learning Disability Work Week celebrates the contribution people with learning disabilities can make to the workplace.

According to campaigning charity Mencap, around 60% of the 1.5 million people in the UK with a learning disability would like to be in work.

David McCannon, 32, has a learning and physical disability, but works for the charity Devon Link Up to help deliver Learning Disability Awareness Training and challenge people’s perceptions. He says: “I really like my job and I love meeting new people.

“I think my job is really important for attenders to learn more about people with learning disabilities, about their rights and skills. I’ve learnt lots about being a trainer and am much more confident.”

David and his co-worker, Jill Singh, deliver training to groups comprising of university and medical students and staff teams working in local organisations such as Peninsula Medical School, Derriford Hospital and Plymouth Community Homes.

Jill said: “I love working with David. He is reliable, punctual and extremely courteous. He has developed a great sense of humour and now engages with course attendees during our breaks. I have watched him grow in confidence and he is truly a joy to work with.

“When we receive feedback from attendees, comments always state the difference having David there brings to the session.”

Last year David was awarded a certificate by the Deputy Chief of Nursing at Derriford Hospital in recognition of the contribution he has made to student Health Care Assistants.

David was supported into employment by Seetec Pluss, where he continues to deliver training and supports other learners. Neil Cattle, Employment Contract Manager at Seetec Pluss, praised his professionalism, reliability and boundless energy saying: “David is a true inspiration and gets amazing feedback from his courses.

“With the right support to develop their skills and confidence, and the support of employers, there are so many jobs where people with learning disabilities can thrive and make a really positive contribution to the workforce.”

Claire Dawe, 29, is determined to not let her learning disability get in the way of employment, and is an advocate for others in wanting to make sure everyone is treated properly.

Claire also found employment through Seetec Pluss and continues to work on the Learning Disability Awareness courses. Claire said: “We go to places such as schools to talk about how people with learning disabilities have been treated over the years. I find it fascinating because I didn’t know how badly people with learning disabilities have been treated. This is why I want to educate people.

“Coming to Seetec Pluss has made me feel so much more comfortable and happy. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have come this far.”

Claire is also an Avon representative and enjoys the responsibility of collecting and checking orders and, supported by her Seetec Pluss key worker, handling money.

Claire explains: “I would recommend Seetec Pluss to anyone who has a learning disability. I can’t describe how fantastic they are. It’s so amazing to meet others who have learning disabilities and has really opened my eyes to how many others have difficulties. Now I know I’m not alone.”

You can find out more about Seetec Pluss and our courses by clicking here to speak with a member of our team today.