On the whole, disabled workers aren’t as visible as they should be, but there are a few agencies in London doing better work in regard to accessibility and approach to hiring. Abbi Brown, an account manager at AMV BBDO [who has osteogenesis imperfecta], is an excellent example of someone who is supported by her organisation and doing incredibly well. Also, Microsoft is really pushing to hire people with autism because they see the value in their ability to analyse and share their experiences. And while other companies are doing exciting things, I think organisations now need to put their money where their mouths are and engage with people working in this sector for the right reasons.
For anyone starting out in a similar position, my advice would be: Don’t lose hope. Hope was the thing that kept me going. You just have to be very proactive, have a sense of humour and laugh about things. It’s challenging, but it’s a fantastic industry – you get to come up with ideas and engage with brilliant people. The next thing is to find something that you’re really passionate about, then keep going, regardless of what people say.
As disabled people, we’re always required to be creative and innovative in our everyday lives, and every organisation – whether they know it or not – needs creative people, and we have the skills to deliver that. It’s about pushing forward positively, building a vast support network, cutting out the negativity and going after what you want.