Southend West MP joins Leonard Cheshire Charity to mark International Day of Person with Disabilities

Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday 3 December, Sir David Amess MP joined charity Leonard Cheshire to mark the occasion and to hear about their work to tackle the disability employment gap.

The theme of the day is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. Since 1992 the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed around the world.

To ensure the success of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development It is critical to ensure the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.

One area where this is all too often not the case is in the area of employment. Despite having the right skills and wanting to work many disabled people still face significant barriers when accessing work.

Last year, research conducted by Leonard Cheshire revealed that one in five employers said they would be less likely to employ a disabled person. Of those line managers who are less likely to employ a disabled person, almost three in four would be concerned they would struggle to do the job.

Leonard Cheshire’s Untapped Talent campaign is calling for better support for disabled people on their journey to employment as well as inclusiveness and equality in the workplace.

Sir David said: ‘I am delighted to support Leonard Cheshire’s Untapped Talent campaign this International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Disabled people have a multitude of skills and are an asset to the workplace so it is vital that they are supported whilst finding work and employers recognise the huge potential they bring.”  

Neil Heslop, Leonard Cheshire’s Chief Executive added: ‘Although progress has been made in some workplaces over recent decades, the disability employment gap remains unacceptably high and many disabled people who want to work are shut out of the workforce. This International Day of Persons with Disabilities we are highlighting that there is still a long way to go to ensure that employers create inclusive opportunities for disabled people and do not overlook this source of talent’