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Working Lunch Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Employers still fearful of recruiting disabled people
Rob talks to disabled workers at Peacocks
A positive attitude to disability at work is needed
A new report suggests that disabled people are still suffering from prejudice and fear in the workplace.

It says that people with disabilities are five times more likely not to have a job and suggests that much of the discrimination towards them is borne out of ignorance.

Scope, the charity for people with Cerebral Palsy is behind the report, and they are using it to call for more action from businesses to achieve equality in the workplace.

Survey of 1,000 employers
40% don't know if their buildings are accessible to the disabled
45% say that employing a disabled person would be too expensive
Source: Scope

82% of disabled people felt that fear of the unknown prevented employers taking on the disabled.

Active employment

Rob went to one firm where disability is definitely not an issue.

Peacocks is a firm that makes accessories for disabled people, and it actively employs staff with disabilities.

One disabled worker, Joe Armstrong says: "This place is good for me, it's all level, so it's very easy for me to get around."

And his colleague Alan Waite points out: "Most people, given the opportunity would give 100%.

Margie Woodward, Campaigns Director at Scope
Margie: Fear fuels problem

'We've had to make very few changes to the workplace. The staff are motivated by their own wish to work."

Attitude problem

But is it just tokenism?

Colin Peacock, Managing Director of Peacocks, says not: "We're a very lean machine, there's no slack in the system."

Margie Woodward, Campaigns Director at Scope agrees: "What we bring to the workforce is fantastic, it's attitudes and fear that fuel this problem."

Scope suggests that greater recognition of the Access to Work Scheme would do much to reduce employers' fears, as well as the implementation of disability equality training for managers and staff.

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