We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their experiences of disability discrimination they had faced in the workplace. Here are some of their stories.
1. When I was 18 I was recovering from severe depression and anorexia, and took a voluntary job in a local branch of a well-known charity shop. One day, for "health and safety reasons" we were told we all had to write down any medications we were on. Later, my manager came up to me and demanded to know why I was on antidepressants at "only 18", because "at your age you should be making your own serotonin!". I didn't really know what to say to that, but after a few more instances of barbed remarks about the fact antidepressants are bad for people (something I definitely knew not to be true in my case), I left.
– Submitted by Nina
2. I'm from the UK and have muscular dystrophy. While at college I applied to work at a well-known music store working on the tills. During the interview they mentioned stacking shelves and I said that I could do that but asked if a trolley was available as I couldn't carry heavy things or crouch down to fill low shelves. They said that was fine as the job was mainly till-based anyway. I went home having thought the interview went well, but got a call saying I was perfect for the job but I would be a liability due to my disability, so they couldn't offer it to me. I was shocked. If only I knew about discrimination laws back then (15 years ago).
– Submitted by Sara
3. I have multiple sclerosis, which has left me partially sighted with no peripheral vision. As soon as a potential employer found out about my condition, they said that they knew someone else with MS and didn't want to jeopardise my health by offering me the job, as they were worried about my ability to see a computer (which was not a problem at all). MS affects people differently and I wouldn't have applied if I couldn't have done the job. So I set my own company up instead.
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