Disabled?

Information: Just some general information as many of you have been kind enough to reply to my requests for info.  I saw the local DEA (Disability Employment Advisor) just before Xmas as I was hoping to find out if RSI is a ‘Registerable Disability’. I thought that this may increase my future job prospects, as I would not be able to be discriminated against on previous sick leave (currently running into 4 months).

He told me that since the 1995 DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) there is no longer a process for becoming registered disabled, but that so long as you disclose any disability (RSI included) on an application form (where requested), the company cannot discriminate. Also, this info. Should only be requested on a separate medical questionnaire, which should not form part of the down-selection process.

Comment 1: No – I can walk, talk & “do” things, even if they aggravate the condition. Govt. benefits/allowances received do not reflect that I may be disabled. No outward appearance of condition, therefore no real understanding from outsiders – I look & act like a normal fit person. No extra monies for help with housework. A fit pensioner has more help than I do (not that I begrudge them that – my mother really needs it).

Yes – I’ve had to give up work, of any sort (DoE decided this!) Has changed the way I do normal things, e.g.: making a bed takes a day of “stop, start”, can’t carry shopping, make main meals, do needlework, etc., etc. Life has been changed with constant pain.  Sorry, I seem to be caught midway in my mind!  My other half has just said the main criteria he has always considered as being disabled is: if you are of working age, but your condition stops you working.

(He used to be a teacher, then an adult education area controller) However, I would add to this sweeping statement: these days the disabled are able to work, mostly, if their work situations can be adapted, but even then they are classed as disabled.  Not much help

Comment 2: It depends on the context – for legal purposes, for Access to Work, etc – then I am, so they tell me.  For day to day stuff – well, I just don’t like the term, perhaps because to me it applies to people who are severely affected in terms of missing or not working properly limbs or other parts of their body – and whilst that may apply to some people with severe RSI it doesn’t apply to me.

But I am certainly less able in certain areas – e.g. my ability to lift or sustain muscle loading, my ability to carry on the required tasks of my job as easily as I ought to be able to, etc.Less abled as opposed to disabled (the latter in my head meaning inability to do rather than problems or restrictions in doing). But it’s a close thing, I admit…  I prefer to say that I am injured – perhaps that makes me hope that it is reversible, compared to a disability which sounds permanent.

Perhaps it hinges on whether the condition affects you all the time and actually restricts movement/the ability to do something as opposed to just being one of pain being caused on a specific task which you can avoid. Thing is, the term disabled has become so wide in various legal and everyday useages that I’m not sure there’s any one particular definition anymore.  Sorry, this probably isn’t much help, is it???


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