Lisa D. (chaoticidealism) wrote,
Lisa D.

Job Skills and the Disabled

I was at the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation the other day, in an intake meeting. Basically, they are there to try to help disabled people find jobs they can do.

The basic premise: If you're disabled, there are a lot of abilities you still have, as well as whatever talents and training you may have. So just find a job that doesn't include the abilities you don't have; or else find a job that can exclude those weak abilities through some reasonable accomodation; and you can work like anybody else.

That's the theory.

In practice, it's more like, If you're disabled, and there's a job you can do (with or without accomodations), then there are two additional criteria you have to meet. First of all, you have to be much better than the nondisabled candidates. Not just adequate; not just capable--stellar. Extraordinary.

I can do that. But the second criterion is a tad more difficult.

You have to make the interviewer like you much more than the nondisabled candidates. Not just a congenial feeling of "You're OK"; not just a neutral evaluation of the skills you have; but the occupational equivalent of love at first sight.

I'm autistic. Anybody see a problem with this criterion?

That's right--getting people to like me is about as hard for me as it is for a deaf person to write a symphony. We can't all be Beethoven; and most people don't think artistic use of sign language qualifies as music.

So, basically, the BVR is there to help me overcome the problems I have interfacing with other people--as long as I can overcome the problems I have interfacing with other people.

Thanks, guys. You're a big help.
Tags: employment
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