‘positive about disabled people’

After being forced into attending another work related activity group by Seetec I sat in a room with 1 other person, yes 2 of us doing training!, and was given an hours workshop on my rights as a “disabled” person for getting back into work.

We were told about what rights with have under legislation against discrimination and I was surprised to learn about an initiative called ‘positive about disabled people’ – or “double tick” as it is sometimes known.

This initiative is used by companies to guarantee disabled people at least an interview ” if you meet the basic conditions for the job.”

The logo is below


Disabled people come under 3 categories

  1. physical
  2. mental health
  3. learning

If companies have this logo on their recruitment adverts they should at least give you an interview. There are 5 commitments that organisations are required to adhere to:

  • to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities
  • to discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what both parties can do to make sure disabled employees can develop and use their abilities
  • to make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment
  • to take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work
  • to review these commitments each year and assess what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans

But here are my concerns on this scheme..

How many of these firms who guarantee you an interview actually employ people with disabilities or is it simply a case of paying lip service for a scheme which makes them look better in the eyes of the less cynical like me. It is all well and good promoting that you are “positive” about disabled people but I would like to think they are actually making  job offers as well.

And then I was shocked to learn that companies who wish to use the logo are assessed and awarded this by none other than the biggest discriminator against the disabled – The Job Centre!

Nonetheless I still think the idea behind the scheme is great assuming that it is closely monitored and actually gives people an opportunity but having the Job Centre behind this is akin to having MacDonalds sponsoring a PETA protest in my eyes!

Having scoured the internet I have managed to find a list of companies on https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ who sent a freedom of information request to the DWP – now surely this list should be more accessible?

Disability symbol national list

I would be interested to know if anyone else is aware of this scheme and if you have been interviewed, or not, by an organisation on this list…

Still on the plus side I actually learned something this week at something from the work program, although it was the training company Maze8 who gave this information and not Seetec!

The Joys Of Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)

For those of us who were fortunate enough to have been deemed unfit for the work, yet able to work soon by ATOS we were placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) as part of receiving our Employment Support Allowance (ESA) benefit.

This mean our futures were in the hands of work program provides and I was blessed to find myself in the (in)capable hands of Seetec.

Not content with being spoken to like shit, being forced into attending degrading training sessions, being ignore when emailing my adviser it seems impossible for someone to actually change me from being on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) onto the correct benefit of ESA.

Today I had to go into their office for a “mandatory” appointment, by mandatory it simply means if you do not attend your benefits will be sanctioned for 4 weeks! yep 4 weeks of zero money!

So getting myself into a state, as normal when I have to attend appointments with Seetec I made my way there. Thankfully a friend took me as I did not have the £3 needed for bus fares! I walked into the office…

No talking to an adviser, no suggestions of how to get back into work or anything helpful like that….

It turns out I had to attend the meeting to collect a fucking letter!!!! yes the type of letter than can be sent in the post for the price of a stamp! but hey fuck doing thing easy for people, lets make them panic and spend money on travel instead!

Taken from Seetec’s website –  www.seetec.co.uk

Seetec is one of the UK’s largest and most experienced providers of Government ­funded employment and skills training programmes, helping thousands of individuals find employment or gain qualifications every year.

Seetec employs hundreds of dedicated and experienced staff across a national ­network of training centres to ensure that our customers and business partners benefit from an innovative and high quality service.

With a reputation for integrity, innovation and quality, our vision is to work with you to aspire towards, achieve and sustain your objectives through our training, employment and consulting services.­

if you put a shirt and tie on a piece of shit is it not still a piece of shit?

Now bare in mind I have been on  ESA since March 28th 2012 and we are into May 2013 is it really too much for me to have expected someone to notice that I am not on JSA? not forgetting the number of times  I have told them!

So now having picked up my letter I am being told that if I don’t attend on the following days I will have my JSA sanctioned!

14/05/13 1.00

16/05/13 1.00

20/05/13 1.00

22/05/13 1.00

24/05/13 1.00

28/05/13 1.00

30/05/13 1.00

03/06/13 1.00

Despite the facts that

  1. I am not on JSA
  2. I am deemed unfit for me
  3. I am not supposed to be searching for work

but lets not get the truth involved in this when we can instead make someone with mental health issues suffer!

Thankfully before I had even opened the letter I made the point of once again mentioning that I am not on JSA so I have been asked to attend at 12 next week to try and get this matter resolved with the job centre. History tells me I should not bother holding my breath.

Still as I am a benefit scrounger I can afford £3-£5 a day three times a week for bus fares!

Just another success story in the work related activity group that Ian Dickhead Smith swears by!


Depression is one issue, IBS is something completely different

The fictional words of Yoda ring in my eye “shit yourself you will”

Another appointment with the good people at Seetec today, an appointment that takes me over an hour to get there, involving sitting on 2 buses at least. Usually though I don’t bother getting the second bus that takes me there and walk about 2 miles instead.

There are two reasons for this

1. It saves me precious money on bus fare

2. I can guarantee I will need to use the public toilets that are only 5 minutes away from where the first bus takes me.

I hate using public toilets though, having to sit on a dirty seat, never enough toilet paper or toilet paper that is either like a wire brush or tracing paper!

The alternative is much worse though, and having struggled with IBS on days like today especially, I can personally verify that dirty public toilets is far more comfortable than an accident.

Accidents I can handle in the comfort of home, when I am at an appointment its entirely different.

The worst part of it all is that I know I am worrying for nothing. Despite the horrible person I dealt with last time who made me feel like rubbish the people at Seetec are actually pretty nice. I am seeing the ESA specialist today, we spoke on the phone a few weeks ago and he seemed really nice. He did a good job of putting me at ease, but still today is one I have been dreading all week, and anxious moose equals cant leave the flat because of IBS.

So think of me today, unable to eat anything all day until I get home about 5pm, wondering the streets with a spare set of underwear in a bag just in case.

Depression I can deal with, I know how to cope with the bad days, the bad feelings can change back to good in a matter of hours.

IBS is much harder to control. Stressing me out, making me so conscious of the fact that I am like a gun waiting to go off.

Still 3 hours until I have to leave, I have only been awake less than an hour and already spent more time on the toilet than sitting at my PC.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it!