Listen: Athena Pavils-Goard in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty
Are we yet able to look beyond a person’s disability and see the unique contribution they can make?
It is 25 years since the first International Day of People With Disability.
Each year this celebration and its associated events aims to chip away at negative public attitudes towards people with a disability.
So how are we doing?
Athena Pavlis-Goard is a disability educator and trainer and a regular contributor to Open House.
According to Athena much has been gained. However there still is a long way to go if we are to achieve meaningful and sustainable work and life outcomes for people with a disability.
Athena told Open House her recent experience in applying for a short term position was an example of employers lacking flexibility that could make all the difference for people with disabilities.
While she easily met the job criteria, because her condition of Cerebral Palsy would restrict her to three days work per week she was knocked back. Rather than working around her particular circumstances the employer went looking for someone else.
As Athena told Open House, she would have been able to give “three great days”.