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Michael Foglietta's Blog

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  • Writer's pictureMichael Foglietta

Disabled Employment

I was thinking about how bad my job search has been and why I am trying to start my own business of helping others.

Ableism is generally thought of as a disabled person can't do the same job as effectively as someone who is not disabled. That got me thinking. Can someone from the disabled community be, for example, a doctor? That would depend on what the disability is and what type of physician he or she wants to be. Could someone with tremors be a surgeon? Probably not.

The part that got me thinking was could anyone be a surgeon? Of course not. Let's take someone who is not disabled, but has a weak stomach, hates needles, and passes out at the sight of blood. This person could not be a doctor.


Let's take the engineering or STEM field. Is every person who is not disabled able to be an engineer or working in one of the STEM fields? Of course not. Not everyone is good at math or have good critical thinking skills. Are there disabled individuals good at math? Some are, some aren't. It all depends on their particular skill level. It does not matter if a person is disabled or not, math and engineering skills are better for some individuals than others whether they are disabled or not.

How about construction or technician occupations. The same rules apply. Some people are good at it, some are not. Would you ask a fisherman to build a house or fix an air conditioner? Of course not. Could a disabled individual be a construction worker or technician? Of course, but it depends on their particular skill set.


This is at the very heart of the matter. If an individual is disabled in some way, and someone who is not disabled have the exact same degree, are the same age and skill level, and went through the same college curriculum, who do you think would be a more qualified candidate for a particular job?

If you really sit down and think about it, a disabled individual has a clear advantage over a non-disabled individual if you compare them. First and foremost, a disabled individual has more experience at adapting and overcoming challenges. For many disabled individuals, including myself, we have had to adapt in ways others simply can't fathom. Overcoming life's challenges are what we as a community are exceptional at. This adapting is part of who we are and can be applied to situations that don't necessarily have to do with an occupation.

My Point

Disabled or not, not everyone can perform any job they want. The disabled community has viewpoints, vantagepoints, and ideas that the non-disabled community simply can't fathom. It is not because the non-disabled community are any less or more intelligent than the disabled community, they have just not had the same experiences as the disabled community.

An example I like to give is how people judge places they have never been to or experienced. When I lived on the east coast, some people had preconceived notions about Californians. I would ask that person if they have ever been to California, the usual answer was no. How can anyone make a general assumption like that when they have never been there? It's a tough question to answer.

Each person's experiences are unique and shape who we are. Not giving someone a chance simply because they are disabled is immoral and unethical. Unfortunately, the world is still full of people who look down on the disabled community.

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