There has been a lot of unrest recently in the disabled community as ATOS has ruffled all of our feathers. How is one form supposed to decide our futures in 45 minutes? Will we get benefits because we are unfit to work or will we be told to 'get a job'? There are petitions left, right and centre urging the government to rethink the way they handle employment and support allowance claims for those who cannot work due to illness or injury. Things are about to change, however, for the good of those living with a disability or mental health disorder.
A new organisation has been set up in the last few days to help combat the issues that surround those who are disabled, by helping them to find a proper job! A sure fire way to stick two fingers up to the ATOS system and get millions of people back into work. With a recent independent survey showing that a whopping 78% of disabled people would rather be in work than claiming benefits, this organisation has been a long time coming. Accessible Work For All (AWFA) finds and vets thousands of jobs every single day in an effort to alert the disabled community of roles that are right for them. These roles could be in a local company or working from home as a freelancer. Although the website is currently under construction they have already set up social media pages which are being used to create a backing for this incredible project. Once the website is set up it has been estimated that over a quarter of a million job seekers will join in the first month.
AWFA will not charge a single penny to those who are looking for a job, feeling that this would defeat the object of the entire organisation. Instead they will offer advertising space on the job boards; but not just to anyone! Every single detail has been well planned and thought out to ensure that only the right information gets to the right people. There will be no 'work from home' scams or opportunities which require you to spend money to make money. Every single job will be vetted first and all candidates will be able to report any issues directly to AWFA.
It is not just about matching people up with suitable jobs however, it is all about the advice and support too. The final website will have a forum for people to socialise and connect, whilst offering their own experiences, stories and advice. There will also be articles, blog posts, hints and tips on various different aspects of finding a job. From the basics of CV writing and interviews to setting up your own business, working as a freelancer and filling in those dreaded tax returns. All of the advice will come from those who have battled their own disabilities or mental health disorders to find work or run their own business.
The AWFA project may have only just begun but there has already been a stir in the community. There have been some who have said that it is down to the government to provide for those with a disability and have therefore written off AWFA, preferring to deal with the grind of ATOS and medical check ups in order to claim a pittance as benefits. Others believe that this is an extremely positive idea that will not only help people get back into work, but ease the pressure off the government and change job seeking around the world. After all, many people truly just want to get back into work, have their own wage and bring back some freedom into their life.
Although AWFA has initially started in the UK there are talks of expansion throughout the rest of the World, especially in areas of high unemployment. The USA, as an example, could benefit a great deal by having an organisation like this helping them get their unemployed back into work or creating their own businesses.
Accessible Work For All is currently looking for its own staff and volunteers, to get the website up and running. Those who are interested can check out the Facebook or Twitter pages or e-mail ContactAWFA@gmail.com