In the last fortnight I gave the introductory speech at a “Disability Confident” event at Northampton College, Booth Lane.
This conference was set up by Job Centre Plus in Northampton and aimed to highlight the under-representation of people with disabilities in the workforce and the potential benefits for individuals, businesses and society if we boost this to a more representative level.
Representatives of many Northants businesses and organisations attended and heard how employing disabled people breaks down barriers and unlocks doors for people who have been traditionally locked out of opportunities. For too long people’s potential has been wasted and talents not utilised. Events like this make us all aware that that attitude must change.
We heard from Jo Redman, a young woman who is three-time world kickboxing champion who has Asperger’s Syndrome. She gave an excellent speech highlighting the obstacles she has had to overcome in her life on her road to success. She told an inspirational story.
Following the event, seven Northamptonshire employers have already pledged their support. As the economy continues to grow, it is vital that jobs and opportunities are shared right across society.