Give me a chance, disabled ReChai asks
A man who suffered a serious head injury in a bike crash six years ago has joined forces with the Disability Advisory Council to ask employers to give the disabled a chance to show what they can do.
ReChai Young, 24, said he had been unable to get a job since the 2012 crash and that he believed his disability was a major factor.
He added: “My last job was just prior to my accident.
“One of the speed bumps I am trying to get over is that because I am labelled as disabled, people only go by what they read.
“It is kind of a hindrance that they have not got a visual of me and what I can do. A piece of paper can only say so much, but you never know a person until you meet them.”
Mr Young was speaking after the DAC marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities this month, with the theme of “empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
Mr Young said he attended the K Margaret Carter Centre for people with learning and physical disabilities and volunteered at Warwick Post Office twice a week to maintain their database.
He also has experience in plumbing and painting and helped out in the kitchen at his family's restaurant, Art Mel's in Pembroke.
Mr Young spent six weeks in Spaulding Rehabilitation Centre in Boston after he was injured.
His treatment included gruelling eight-hour therapy sessions every day.
Doctors told him he would never walk again, but his grandfather encouraged him to swim and try to kick his feet and he started to walk again.
Mr Young is open to all kinds of job offers, but likes computer work.
He said: “I can input information into the computer, I can file or do laundry and fold clothes. I use a walking cane because I experienced severe head trauma but I can do regular tasks.
“You just have to show me how to do it, let me practise and, once it becomes routine, I've got it down.
Mr Young said: “I am excellent at making time and I can pick things up quickly.
“I'm a people person, but if I'm needed to work by myself, then I can. I have a strong work ethic.”
Suzanne DeCouto of the DAC, said: “It is important that employers look at a person's ability first rather than their disability.
“That person appreciates the chance to prove their ability.
“ReChai is for ever grateful to all the persons that have helped him along the way and would love for someone to just give him a chance.
“At K. Margaret Carter Centre, they call him the cheerleader, as he is always smiling and trying to make everyone happy.”
Anyone interested in employing Mr Young or other people with disabilities should contact Joanne Musson at the K Margaret Carter Centre on 292-2591.