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  • FIRST POST
    wantsajob
    Disability employment legal rights clarification request - Asperger Syndrome
    • #1
    • 22nd Apr 11, 8:24 AM
    Disability employment legal rights clarification request - Asperger Syndrome 22nd Apr 11 at 8:24 AM
    I have Asperger Syndrome, which in brief affects my ability to communicate socially in face-to-face situations. Employer used a competency-based interview, and surprise surprise, the competencies which relate directly to my disability (team work, and customer appreciation) are both highlighted as my weak points. As these relate to social communication, it is clear that these are related to my disability. Otherwise the employer said I was good with the technical side of things, i.e. the big part of the job.

    I know some will go "come off it" and so on, but this problem follows me wherever I go seeking work, even for unskilled positions where you would not imagine great dexterity with these skills is required. I am nearly 31 and have never had a paid job, despite best efforts otherwise, but have good University qualifications, and have volunteered on occasions. I am currently not on any benefits. This is a big barrier to any kind of work. It seems this barrier will persist till the day I die. I am desperate for that first job, whatever it is.

    I thought some theoretical examples might help illustrate my point.

    Ok so let's start with a stupid example. Someone may be good at the skill of soldering - say for example someone else argues the reason they are unable solder, is that they have a disability which makes soldering difficult for them, and they demand a job soldering because they have a disability that means they find it difficult. This is a situation that I doubt will ever arise. Firstly, the person is unlikely to want to engage in such a role because they are unlikely to enjoy it. But in such a situation I suspect an employment tribunal is unlikely to help.

    Wheelchair bound person applies for a job, employer says "can't work here, no lift or ramps and you have to climb some stairs". Equality Act 2010 says reasonable adjustments such as ramps must be installed. In such a situation, I suspect it highly likely an employment tribunal would help?

    In my case I apply for jobs and competencies relating to my disability are judged as being not of the required standard for the post. I can understand why employers do this, they want someone who is able to fulfil all possible parts of the role. However, I feel I have been treated unfairly as the decision relates to skills dependent on my disability which is something I cannot control, rather than skills I either have or don't have. I am not completely incapable and I feel I would have managed with the side of work for which the competencies relate. It's not like I applied for a position in a call centre or sales where I would be using such skills minute by minute. I applied because I knew I had strengths in the technical side, as the employer stated in feedback. I feel the employer could reasonably anticipate I would have these difficulties as I requested adjustments for interview, which they provided, and disclosed the nature of my difficulties - and I would call to question why they bothered to offer an interview in the first place, unless it's just to keep their positive about disability two ticks accreditation. I feel there are reasonable adjustments which could be made to accommodate my difficulties if they pose as much of an issue as they suggest they will, such as taking on another employee's work, in return for them completing tasks I find difficult. I am unsure how I will ever get experience at these skills, if I am continually knocked back by employers.

    So which is my case closest to - the person with the soldering disability, or the wheelchair user? I would argue it is closer to that of the wheelchair user. I have the technical ability to perform the technical tasks, and I would argue this is the big hurdle as I doubt there are a very large number out there who would have the technical ability. Although I might not be great at team-work or customer service, I am not completely incapable. My University qualifications also prove this to be the case. It is a difficulty with which I may require some reasonable adjustments, and merely providing the opportunity to engage in these skills may provide an opportunity through which to get better at them. I just need that "little ramp" and "height adjustable desk" to help me do my job. Had I not had the technical skill whatsoever, then I would be the soldering disability person.

    A previous employment tribunal case, Hewett V Motorola Ltd 2004 (word document)

    Mr Hewett, an engineer, had Asperger’s Syndrome. He took out a grievance regarding his appraisal ranking of SI (some improvement) as opposed to ME (meets expectations). He was criticised as being over-sensitive to banter (a manifestation of his disability). Mr Hewett went off sick in June 2002. In July, the employer began disciplinary action against him for his failure to attend work, although it abandoned this after Mr Hewett challenged its appropriateness. When his sick pay entitlement ran out and the company refused to continue it, Mr Hewett resigned.

    The tribunal found the company had failed to make reasonable adjustments, eg adjusting his appraisal score to ME, adjusting the way he was questioned during the grievance to reflect the fact that he becomes stressed when he is cross-examined, and continuing to pay sick-pay because his absences were disability-related.
    Source: http://www.hief.org.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/hieftoolkit7.pdf

    This case seems to suggest a possible reasonable adjustment is to consider competencies relating to disability as meeting expectations. For example things like team-work skills. Is this a reasonable interpretation? Could this extend to recruitment practices also?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
  • Emmzi
    • #2
    • 22nd Apr 11, 9:17 AM
    • #2
    • 22nd Apr 11, 9:17 AM
    Well, this is probably only relevant if you can gather sufficient evidence to complete a legal challenge, and I sincerely doubt that will be made available to you. FWIW I think some adjustments should be made but I am not sure it is reasonable to change someone else's job so eg they get all the customer work and you get an exemption. So pragmatically I would focus on what you can do to get into work, not to start legal action which will take a long time and be difficult to prove. (Is easier when IN work with the backing of your union to raise legal cases!)

    Have you ever done a work trial?

    Have you had training in recognition of social cues? (Think GP can refer?)

    Have you spoken to a disability employment advisor?

    Have you thought of going self employed?
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    • dseventy
    • By dseventy 22nd Apr 11, 9:21 AM
    • 1,169 Posts
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    dseventy
    • #3
    • 22nd Apr 11, 9:21 AM
    • #3
    • 22nd Apr 11, 9:21 AM
    Wheelchair bound person applies for a job, employer says "can't work here, no lift or ramps and you have to climb some stairs". Equality Act 2010 says reasonable adjustments such as ramps must be installed. In such a situation, I suspect it highly likely an employment tribunal would help?
    I am not sure they would as you are not employed by them.

    If you were employed and then adaptions not made, I can see your point.

    The legislation you refer to (and the case) again refers to people in employment.
    Since you don't work there, you can't use them.

    IMO anyway.

    D70
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  • Hammyman
    • #4
    • 22nd Apr 11, 10:25 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Apr 11, 10:25 AM
    I would like to start this post by saying that it is not a dig at the OP but rather a story that Aspergers can be a benefit, not a hinderance.

    My youngest brother has Aspergers, also went to Uni. He started working in Kwik-Save at 17 and continued that part way through Uni, transferring to the local store with glowing references from the store he'd started at. He then moved on to call center work. When he left Uni, he got a job with a council in the HB department, rising to manager. He left there and went onto agency working at various councils throughout the UK and earning a ton of money because he knew the rules, regs and systems inside out because of the traits of Aspergers - he basically read the manual constantly to the point he knew it off by heart. He now works in our local council going round advising people on money issues.

    HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOT WHERE HE DID WITHOUT ASPERGERS. ASPERGERS WAS THE REASON HE ENDED UP EARNING TWO TIMES WHAT THE MANAGERS WERE AT THE COUNCILS HE WORKED AT.

    I would like to point out though that he never mentioned Aspergers when applying for jobs. Most people just thought he was a bit wierd - especially in Sunderland where he'd walk around with a great big massive Stetson he'd bought in America when he'd gone over there.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 22nd Apr 11, 12:26 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #5
    • 22nd Apr 11, 12:26 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Apr 11, 12:26 PM
    What the OP can do is stress the positive aspects of AS. Hammyman's post highlights what some of these might be.

    Also an employer is only required to make 'reasonable adjustments' for a disability. If a wheelchair user applied to work in my office, it would be darned difficult to get them up the stairs, end of. Putting in a lift would not be a 'reasonable' adjustment, because it would be very expensive and it would take up space which we're already very short of.

    Getting more voluntary experience may help: you might find that leads to jobs you can apply for. It may also improve your social skills.

    DS1 has mild AS: he's worked at a local cinema, made lots of friends at Uni, and now has a job in his chosen field. There are still things he struggles with, like using the phone, and he'll always be a bit 'different', but he's learned over time how to cope.
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  • wantsajob
    • #6
    • 28th Apr 11, 1:19 AM
    • #6
    • 28th Apr 11, 1:19 AM
    Well, this is probably only relevant if you can gather sufficient evidence to complete a legal challenge, and I sincerely doubt that will be made available to you. FWIW I think some adjustments should be made but I am not sure it is reasonable to change someone else's job so eg they get all the customer work and you get an exemption. So pragmatically I would focus on what you can do to get into work, not to start legal action which will take a long time and be difficult to prove. (Is easier when IN work with the backing of your union to raise legal cases!)
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    What about adjustments for people who are deaf? The employer stated they could offer sign language interpreters, and a deaf person is as likely to have as much difficulty engaging with customers and team members as I do. Is one disability more favourable than another?!

    I have some evidence but did not wish to go into detail in the original post, as it was already quite long. I requested interview questions in writing as a reasonable adjustment. These were provided, but changed 3 days later to include the competencies mentioned in first post when there was no reference to them previously. If I was asked different questions to other candidates or the questions were intentionally tailored to my disability, IMO that is a clear case of discrimination.

    I am planning to send a request for information under the Equality Act 2010.

    Have you ever done a work trial?
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    Never been offered one. Have approached some companies, but generally the response is that they would not do this as it costs them a great deal of resources inducting and training an employee etc. I have, however, completed a pathways to work programme arranged by a DEA.

    Have you had training in recognition of social cues? (Think GP can refer?)
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    I have done everything possible all my life! I also have a great deal of experience with mental health services, and generally they are extremely dire - in fact I would say they did a great deal more harm than good and probably further accentuated my difficulties, by originally misdiagnosing me. I am open to absolutely anything, but there is just nothing out there.

    Plus I like to think of construing the difficulties in this manner. Would you expect someone who struggles to walk unaided out of their wheelchair for 10 minutes, to walk unaided for an hour, just because they show some ability to walk?! I hate the constant need for people to think that *I* need to improve and the fault is *ME* and under my control, when it is not. The only reason people do it is to *pat themselves on the back* for what wonderful skills they have of their own - it's true, but none of you will admit to it! Once people can accept me for what I am, maybe then I can go on to develop and become something better. I feel what I really need to develop in this respect is the environment of an actual workplace, rather than a voluntary position (which I doubt is ever quite the same). The reality is, even if I *do* get better at these skills, I will still never compare with someone without my disability. Maybe once I get a job I will shine like Hammyman's brother.

    Have you spoken to a disability employment advisor?
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    Yes, she is particularly useless, if well intentioned, very nice to talk to, and extremely knowledgeable about working conditions at local employers (recommending avoiding certain Asda stores etc). But all she really does is a job search. Also put me forward for an interview for poundland - but then we're back to interview difficulties again. Been referred to Remploy who have been slightly more useful, and provided some basic support and I continue to go there - although I feel it is a waste of time and travelling costs.

    Have you thought of going self employed?
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    Yes. There are obvious risks and challenges though, particularly in the current climate. As yet I have been unable to consider any product or service I could provide I feel there is a market for in which I could excel, etc. Again my social skills are likely to be as much a barrier there as they are at interviews. Plus I would need some capital to start with, which I am highly unlikely to be able to get access to.

    There seems to be too much emphasis on what you say IMO. More "gift of the gab" over-rules ability. Keep hearing of the no-hopers passing through my partner's place of work. When they interviewed my partner she is somewhat like myself, and they were uncertain whether to appoint her. In fact she thinks they only did because they were desperate for someone and she had the experience and could be thrown in the deep end - and the employer in all probability wanted rid of her shortly after. She has managed to stay on, but it is highly amusing that the managers interview people then bang on about how well candidates did and how great they were (no doubt spinning BS in the interview to big themselves up) - yet when they're appointed to the position they're late for work (lateness measured in hours), hungover, constantly using mobile phone, taking liberties with breaks, making every effort to leave early, making procedural errors which cost the company more than they earn in their wages repeatedly despite being shown the correct procedures numerous times. I can't help but laugh. My partner dreads the day they eventually find someone good who does better than her and the company decides to let her go.
    Last edited by wantsajob; 28-04-2011 at 7:05 AM. Reason: less ranting
  • Googlewhacker
    • #7
    • 28th Apr 11, 9:40 AM
    • #7
    • 28th Apr 11, 9:40 AM
    As above, it seems to me that you are stressing the negatives of Aspergers far to much which I guess is coming across to employers.

    Concentrate on the positives of Aspergers and you really need to learn stock answers for this so that you can bring this into an interview conversation.

    What do you hope to gain by going down the legal route?
    The Googlewhacker referance is to Dave Gorman and not to my opinion of the search engine!

    If I give you advice it is only a view and always always take professional advice before acting!!!

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  • Googlewhacker
    • #8
    • 28th Apr 11, 9:43 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Apr 11, 9:43 AM
    If I was asked different questions to other candidates or the questions were intentionally tailored to my disability, IMO that is a clear case of discrimination.
    Originally posted by wantsajob
    So on one hand you want it tailored to your disability but on the other hand you don't as its discriminatory?
    The Googlewhacker referance is to Dave Gorman and not to my opinion of the search engine!

    If I give you advice it is only a view and always always take professional advice before acting!!!

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  • heretolearn
    • #9
    • 28th Apr 11, 10:29 AM
    • #9
    • 28th Apr 11, 10:29 AM
    I can understand your frustrations, having had some experience of working with people with Asbergers (in the sense that they worked where I worked) and know they can do a great job, but in the right role. It's not easy to find an employer willing to take a little risk on someone who is a bit different or has a disability. Now I am in charge of recruiting, I have taken that risk a couple of times, and unfortunately despite our best efforts and their best efforts, making adjustments, it hasn't worked out. Which does make me think twice about doing it again, but we do our best to look at everyone individually and not be influenced by what has happened in the past with someone else. But a lot of employers, once bitten, twice shy. So it's even harder for you.

    I understand why you are getting annoyed, but as currently an employer, I have to respond to one of your comments.

    "However, I feel I have been treated unfairly as the decision relates to skills dependent on my disability which is something I cannot control, rather than skills I either have or don't have. I am not completely incapable and I feel I would have managed with the side of work for which the competencies relate."

    Employers still can and will make a decision based on your skills and abilities, whether these are under your control or not. They don't have to make allowances for this, their interest is in getting the best possible person for the job, and doing that is not discrimination. It would be discrimination if your disability made no difference to your ability to do the job (with reasonable adjustments if necessary). So a wheelchair user should be considered equally for a job where the only difference it makes is that they might need the office rearranged a bit, but a wheelchair user can't apply for a job that requires a different type of mobility, for example as a window cleaner, and then say that because their ability to climb a ladder is not under their control, the employer is discriminating if they don't give them the job.

    Unfortunately, although your technical side was excellent and you could have coped with the communications side, there were probably several applicants whose technical side AND communications were excellent, so the employer was quite right and legally sound to give the job to one of those people instead of you.
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 28th Apr 11, 11:38 AM
    • 59,221 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    I have Aspergers. I've given up with employers and the crazy hoops you have to seemingly jump through these days. I am just full of interview fail

    I don't understand what they want the answers to questions to be - and I give a fabulously cringe-worthy Aspie answer. So now I don't even bother applying or even looking, confidence has all gone.

    I write !!!! online, articles and fluff of no consequence or importance - this makes me a living. Maybe you could write important articles, based around your interests and knowledge and using those fabulously detailed Aspie research skills (research to the nth degree, then double check).

    You can't beat the system.... especially if you don't possess the verbal or debating skills required to beat them down at their own game
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 28th Apr 11, 7:00 PM
    • 37,491 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    I feel what I really need to develop in this respect is the environment of an actual workplace, rather than a voluntary position (which I doubt is ever quite the same).
    Originally posted by wantsajob
    I think it depends on the organisation and the voluntary position! I work for a small charity and we use a lot of volunteers: some of those who come into the office have defined areas of work which they take sole responsibility for. Several of our client facing volunteers have used the experience to get jobs either with us or in similar lines of work, or to get onto courses which need experience.

    Some of them are so 'regular' that I forget they aren't paid staff! We invite them to some social occasions as well.

    The reality is, even if I *do* get better at these skills, I will still never compare with someone without my disability. Maybe once I get a job I will shine like Hammyman's brother.
    Originally posted by wantsajob
    The other thing to remember is that some of these social skills are actually a disadvantage in the workplace, or at least a lack of them can be presented as a huge advantage. You will NOT spend all day chatting on the phone / by the kettle or updating your facebook profile or otherwise 'wasting' time. You will NOT spend half an hour in idle chit chat every morning before getting down to work, because you just won't see the need!

    There are some people you want to ask if they can't just shut it and let the rest of us get on with our jobs ... not my current colleagues of course, but I've known people like that!
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  • wantsajob
    As above, it seems to me that you are stressing the negatives of Aspergers far to much which I guess is coming across to employers.

    Concentrate on the positives of Aspergers and you really need to learn stock answers for this so that you can bring this into an interview conversation.
    Originally posted by Googlewhacker
    It seems whatever I do I come up against a brick wall. I have decided that as it seems I have so much difficulty, that I need to divulge my Aspergers to employers and that consideration needs to be made of it - otherwise they will reject me regardless. Concentrating on positives and benefits and so on would not have helped in this particular instance as their decision related to the negative aspects anyway. As I said feedback said "Candidate was technically strong and showed some good insights into related issues, his technical presentation was well researched and well delivered. He lacked evidence of some of the key competencies needed for such a senior position, notably team working and customer appreciation."

    The decision whether to give me a job or not in every instance has hinged purely on the negative aspects of my condition in every single interview regardless of whether I divulged the condition or not and whatever I said in the interview. If I do not mention the negative aspects (which I only do so briefly and concisely), then the negative aspects that become obvious in the interview will be far more apparent and I am less likely to get anywhere. I need to pre-warn them, so to speak, that I will not appear to be a normal person in an interview. Highlighting the positives will not help if they have the mindset that certain abilities are important, and that if you have a disability which prevents you doing well at these things then you may as well be unemployed all your life. The positive aspects of my condition are probably no better reflected than in the fact I got a first class honours degree!

    What do you hope to gain by going down the legal route?
    Originally posted by Googlewhacker
    I would like the law to be upheld, and feel that if I was able to create case-law, this may benefit not only myself - but everyone with a similar or related atypical neurological condition who finds themselves in my position. I think being nearly 31 and never having had a paid job is pretty **** and I don't want anyone else to end up in similar circumstances. In reality I realise employers will just tighten up making sure they don't divulge evidence for the real reasons for not employing someone - but even then at least I have achieved something.

    So on one hand you want it tailored to your disability but on the other hand you don't as its discriminatory?
    Originally posted by Googlewhacker
    You appear to have misunderstood, or perhaps I did not explain what I intended to get across well.

    Non-disabled candidates all asked question 1
    Disabled candidate asked question 2 instead - of which it relates indirectly to things they may have difficulty with due to their disability

    There is something wrong in that situation!

    Also take for example everyone being asked to complete a written test, and one of them happens to have dyslexia and is rejected because they did poorly on the written test - when writing is absolutely nothing to do with the job. That would be a clear case of discrimination.

    I want a job based on my ability to do the job. From the above feedback it seems clear to me that they thought I would be good at everything but the teamwork and customer appreciation - two skills I have difficulty with due to my Aspergers. I feel I should be offered a position based on my ability to do it compared with the other candidates, and that this decision should not be clouded by things I find difficult due to my disability - which it clearly was.
    Last edited by wantsajob; 30-04-2011 at 4:38 PM.
  • Emmzi
    wantsajob, do you know how abrasive your posts appear?

    That in itself would be a reason not employ - "I don't believe s/he could work with others"

    Every suggestion has been rejected/ tried it/ they were useless etc.

    How can you present yourself more positively for employers?

    Or is it all about the law and rights for you? Do you not really want a job?

    I could offer lots of ideas but I don't want to invest the time if you are not receptive.
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  • wantsajob
    Employers still can and will make a decision based on your skills and abilities, whether these are under your control or not. They don't have to make allowances for this, their interest is in getting the best possible person for the job, and doing that is not discrimination. It would be discrimination if your disability made no difference to your ability to do the job (with reasonable adjustments if necessary). So a wheelchair user should be considered equally for a job where the only difference it makes is that they might need the office rearranged a bit, but a wheelchair user can't apply for a job that requires a different type of mobility, for example as a window cleaner, and then say that because their ability to climb a ladder is not under their control, the employer is discriminating if they don't give them the job.

    Unfortunately, although your technical side was excellent and you could have coped with the communications side, there were probably several applicants whose technical side AND communications were excellent, so the employer was quite right and legally sound to give the job to one of those people instead of you.
    Originally posted by heretolearn
    And where does that leave me? All jobs out there expect these types of abilities, every single one, even if you think they do not. Should I give up applying for jobs? Am I wasting my time? I can't go on living life with no money and so suicide seems ever increasingly the only option, particularly if I have to accept your perspective.

    You wheelchair user as a window cleaner is entirely different to me and the position I applied for. If the employer is able to consider deaf applicants for the post, as they said they were by offering a sign language interpreter, what is the difference where I am concerned? A deaf person would also have difficulties with those aspects of the job.

    If I had been subject to the same evaluations when it came to going to University, I would never have got a First Class honours degree. Employers could be missing out on the best employee ever, without realising it.

    If you look here http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/guidance-for-employers/ I think you may find you are wrong.
    Last edited by wantsajob; 30-04-2011 at 5:52 PM.
    • Horace
    • By Horace 30th Apr 11, 4:54 PM
    • 14,121 Posts
    • 24,783 Thanks
    Horace
    OP, you say that attending Remploy is a waste of time, I know that it isnt, one of my friends was unemployed for a long time due to having epilepsy and being made redundant from his previous job - he eventually found a job via Remploy with one of their employment partners John Lewis - he now runs the menswear department in his local John Lewis store. Remploy work with many firms and assist people with disabilities to find work within those firms.

    You could also try The Shaw Trust which is another charitable organisation that helps people with disabilities find their way back into work or find them their first job if they have never worked. www.shaw-trust.org.uk (although some of their programmes have ceased due to a change in government funding, you could still contact them for help).

    I know it is tough when you go for interviews which is why attending Remploy will help - people sometimes cannot see past the disability and that is tough but there are employers out there who will employ a disabled person. If you look for the green tick when applying for a job, if you meet the requirements and you are disabled then you are guaranteed an interview.

    Sometimes those of us with disabilities have to use the resources provided to find employment or start our own businesses. Unless I say something, no-one knows that I am blind in my left eye with about 2% peripheral vision and no central vision at all. I used all the resources available to me after I was made redundant and thanks to the jobcentre and my Disability Employment Advisor - I have been self employed for 2 years now.
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  • wantsajob
    wantsajob, do you know how abrasive your posts appear?
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    Obviously not. I apologise (if that makes any difference). Maybe if you were in my position you would be the same.

    Every suggestion has been rejected/ tried it/ they were useless etc.
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    I continue to see the DEA and Remploy despite them having little obvious utility. I am willing to try anything and everything.

    How can you present yourself more positively for employers?
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    The negative aspects will be there regardless and will be obvious when I am asked questions.

    I cannot consider how I could have presented myself any more positively for the last position. In fact I believe I performed far better in that interview than any other interview I have been to. This seems to be apparent in them considering my technical ability to be good. The only way I could have done so would be to be what I would consider "fake" and to lie and be dishonest and to try and suggest I have abilities that I don't by giving dishonest and disingenuous replies to questions. This seems to be what everyone else does, so maybe I should give it a go?

    Even going into the usual list of positives about Aspergers.
    • accuracy
    • a good eye for detail and reliability
    • an excellent memory for facts and figures
    • the ability to thrive in a structured, well-organised work environment.
    I would have considered these are all evident from the results of my educational qualifications.

    Or is it all about the law and rights for you? Do you not really want a job?
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    A job has been my ultimate aim for many years. What is so wrong about someone having legal rights and enforcing them? The rights are constantly ignored and flouted by employers - and the whole point which you seem to have missed about rights and laws is that they are about getting a job. I can't see how the two are incompatible. Faced with the apparent impossibility of getting a job, legal rights appears to be the only avenue open to further explore.

    I could offer lots of ideas but I don't want to invest the time if you are not receptive.
    Originally posted by Emmzi
    I'm investing my time here because ultimately I want a job, hence my username. Otherwise I would not be here, I'd be sat on the couch watching TV not applying for jobs like all those chavs out there who prefer to live off benefits. I would not have purchased and read three books on Aspergers and employment cover to cover.

    I am receptive, but my situation is a particularly difficult and challenging one. Otherwise I would have managed to get a job.

    OP, you say that attending Remploy is a waste of time, I know that it isnt, one of my friends was unemployed for a long time due to having epilepsy and being made redundant from his previous job - he eventually found a job via Remploy with one of their employment partners John Lewis - he now runs the menswear department in his local John Lewis store. Remploy work with many firms and assist people with disabilities to find work within those firms.
    Originally posted by Horace
    They have only offered an opportunity to apply for one of their partners once. It was for Sainsburys collecting trolleys a couple of hours each evening. I thought long and hard about the opportunity, eventually deciding against it as by the time I have travelled there each day, travel costs would have taken an hours wages off, and with it only being a few hours a day... I'm still not sure if it was the right choice, but the choice has been made now.
    Last edited by wantsajob; 30-04-2011 at 6:06 PM.
    • bluenoseam
    • By bluenoseam 30th Apr 11, 5:50 PM
    • 4,432 Posts
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    bluenoseam
    I personally don't find OP's posts to be abrassive given his well established condition, i do find them to be clinical to the point whereby he is wondering if the reason he's not getting paid employment is based soley because he finds potential employers give added weight to the negative side of his condition without properly adjusting it for the fact the positives of his condition far outweigh any potential problem. So for example the OP has potential to grasp technical insight with the sort of ease us "normal" people would dearly love to have, but unlike us "normal" people he SOMETIMES has issues regarding face to face encounters with people, now while this may present a problem with certain customers his technical abilities would i don't doubt far outweigh any negative effect of this - the issue at hand being that potential employers see Aspergers as a disability which they can't work around, when the reality is that it could be worked around.

    Now, the issue is that it depends soley on how you're willing to adapt to a situation whereby employment would be suitable - i'll admit my knowledge of Aspergers is virtually zero, however i believe that when i worked with a well known high street retailer they had one young guy on a placement from a local scheme who worked in our stock room, due to his condition he was perfect for the position. Unfortunately i doubt this kind of work would be enough to satisfy your apparent taste for "action" so to speak - i think you sound like someone who would prefer to find work which would challenge you on all aspects, feel free to correct me if i'm wrong in thinking that.

    Unfortunately though, laws are always open to interpretation - and when it comes to the crunch, many employers can indirectly use systems to avoid being in breach of the law without actually enforcing what it's there to achieve, so while they will never directly say "oh Mr Wantsajob wasn't given a job because he has Aspergers" they will word it and tailor it that someone will be more suitable than you. This isn't uncommon and while it's not moral it's certainly also not illegal - there is no law which states that someone of X condition or Y "demographic" (sex, race, religion, orientation for examples) MUST be given a job, only that a given "factor" cannot be held against them.

    (i do appologise for the usage of words like condition and associated words - it does make it sound terribly inhumane when really that's not the point i was trying to get across)
    • Horace
    • By Horace 30th Apr 11, 6:15 PM
    • 14,121 Posts
    • 24,783 Thanks
    Horace
    Wantsajob..you could ask for feedback as to why you weren't offered the job and ask them to provide you with copies of CVs (personal information blocked out), copies of the questions asked of all candidates together with the scoring matrices. You could also ask for details (not the personal stuff where folks can be identified) of the person who actually go the job so you could see why they got it and what experience etc. that they had. I know about this because the Disability Rights Commission told me when I felt that I had been hard done by when I applied for a council job in London. The Disability Rights Commission is now the Equal Opportunities Commission.

    Have you considered becoming self employed? Ask your DEA for help and you can see if self employment is right for you.

    I can remember what it was like looking for work, I was made redundant from a Russells Group University in 2007 (I had been bullied within an inch of my life by my boss and his treatment of me exacerbated my eye disease which resulted in me having to have multiple operations), I was repeatedly told either a) you are too old b) you have no transferrable skills (this was because I had worked in various university departments for 12 years) and I am sure that on more than one occasion my disability was a hindrance notwithstanding the fact that I work harder than anyone else and havent had the eye condition all my life - I started losing my sight in 2003.

    I love being self employed because I can work when I want and I can charge for my services for the most part I organise events for people but I do have a client that I work for for 8hrs a week doing admin work, I am also learning at the same time because his computers are far more advanced than my trusty old laptop.

    I think I am right in saying that there is a young man who lives nr Bridgnorth, Shropshire who has Aspergers and he runs a successful chocolate business. If he can do it then so can you (you don't have to make chocolate you could do something else).
    Semper in faeces profundum variat

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  • wantsajob
    (i do appologise for the usage of words like condition and associated words - it does make it sound terribly inhumane when really that's not the point i was trying to get across)
    Originally posted by bluenoseam
    You ought to read Oliver Sacks - The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, about a man with visual agnosia. Sacks uses words like Retard, Idiot, and Moron to refer to mental health conditions. Shows how attitudes have changed over the years
  • Googlewhacker
    out of interest what has happened to these voluntary places, did you leave or were they only for a fixed time or are you still doing any of them?
    The Googlewhacker referance is to Dave Gorman and not to my opinion of the search engine!

    If I give you advice it is only a view and always always take professional advice before acting!!!

    4 people on the ignore list....Bliss!
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