Hard at Work? Take 5 minutes to read Tommy's blog

Accessibility

Skip Navigation

Hard at Work? Take 5 minutes to read Tommy's blog

15 September 2016

Hard at Work?  Take 5 minutes to read Tommy's blog

My Name is Tommy Cairns, I am a 35 year old graduate with honours in both social work and Psychology. I have a keen interest in supporting, empowering and enabling people with disabilities to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives.

I have a particular interest when it comes to disability and employment, as I myself am a disabled man who is trying to secure and maintain employment which has proved to be very difficult for me.  My search for work led me to volunteer with Disability Action, as a Peer Employment Advocate within their Employment Advocacy Service.

Employment Advocacy Service

The Employment Advocacy Service is the first service of its kind in Northern Ireland.  It is delivered for disabled people by disabled people to support those who are seeking, entering or are currently in employment.

The Employment Advocacy Service is important as it helps disabled people remove barriers to employment and dispel myths surrounding employment.  It does this through the delivery of support and impartial advice such as how to remove physical barriers to employment and how to overcome societal and attitudinal obstacles.

The service offers practical advice on issues of recruitment & selection, sickness & absence, reasonable adjustments and provides positive actions for the employee with a disability as well as the employer.


Hard at Work
The Employment Advocacy Service so far has been greatly received across Northern Ireland as is demonstrated by the success of our recent “Hard at Work” paper.  The report which was launched by the Department for Communities Minister Paul Givan was not only a great success for the team but also a milestone in the life of the service.


 The report highlights the key actions needed to increase equality in employment for disabled people in Northern Ireland, outlines the views of people who have used the service and how the service helped them with their employment concerns.   It also gives the service a voice and shows that it is working and more importantly that it needs to be supported and funded appropriately so that we as a team can meet the rapidly growing demand for the service.


So what does the future hold?
As a member of the team I have developed an information resource which is specific to issues around reasonable adjustments in the workplace.  I am currently working on best practice guidance on recruitment and selection with guides for both employers and employees which the team hope to release soon.


With ongoing challenges faced by disabled people throughout NI I foresee the need for the service will only become greater.  We need to promote the Employment Advocacy Service widely across Northern Ireland so that we as a team can help to support, empower and enable people with disabilities to make the right choices when finding work.


Resources·       



Contact Details:
Telephone: 028 9029 7880
Textphone: 028 9029 7882
Email employmentadvocacy@disabilityaction.org



« Back

Other Blog Articles

Game, Set & Match at the UN

Game, Set & Match at the UN

Following the latest visit to Geneva, read the latest update on the examination of the UK's compliance with the UNCRPD.

Nothing about us, without us? The role of disabled people in shaping employment strategy, policy and practice.

Nothing about us, without us? The role of disabled people in shaping employment strategy, policy and practice.

Sean Fitzsimons is responsible for coordinating Disability Action’s Employment Advocacy Service. He works across Northern Ireland with a wide range of employees and employers. He also sits on Dis...

Conference on Using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Guest piece by Michael Farrell, human rights law consultant on the Conference on Using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The conference was held in Croke Park, D...

Introducing: Patrick Malone

Patrick Malone

We would like to introduce one of our newest members of the team - Patrick Malone, who has taken on the new role of Public Affairs and Engagement Officer. Patrick joins us from a similar role in A...

Northern Ireland Delegation Ace it in Geneva

Northern Ireland Delegation Ace it in Geneva

In mid-March, representatives from Disability Action along with June Best and Tony O’Reilly travelled to the United Nations in Geneva along with colleagues from across the UK to present evidence to...

Copyright © 2017 Disability Action