Finding a job is hard enough in today’s economy; finding a job with a disability feels impossible. That is what Dr. Jeff Preston believes as he has lived his entire life in a wheelchair and admits to being discriminated against in the workforce due to his disability.
Dr. Preston is now a professor at King’s University in the disability studies department but struggled growing up trying to find employment. He had an overqualified resume but still never got interviews.
“There was one summer where I applied to 35 places and only received one interview because the person knew me. I do not hide on my resume that I am disabled, it is fairly obvious, so I would have to assume that was the reason I did not get called back.”
Dr. Preston says that employers often assume that hiring a person with a disability will cost them too much money and time when that is often not the case.
“People would assume that I would need to take sick days, have countless doctors appointments, and special offices made for me when really it is as simple as giving me an office on the first floor.”
Dr. Preston says these beliefs people have are actually what limits people with disabilities, not their diagnosis.
There is a company in London who defies these beliefs and it is called The Little Red Roaster. Rafet Sayeg is the owner and says that he believes we all have an obligation to help and give back to our community.
“I think that helping people with disabilities is something that should come naturally to people. The people who don’t are just scared of the mistakes they may make. Everyone makes mistakes, we are all human.”
The Little Red Roaster is a cafe located in the Covet Garden Markets and serves all local products. Locals have recognized their dedication to giving back to the community and they continue to grow an incredible following.