Aperts syndrome is a genetic disorder which is characterised by the premature fusion of skull bones which affect the shape of the head and face. Zoe lives a normal life at home in Hornsey – socialising, travelling and keeping fit, but the one thing she can’t find is a job.
She said: “I have been interviewed in corridors, store cupboards and waiting rooms.
“Each time I’ve received different excuses saying I am over qualified or under qualified, or haven’t got the right level of qualification, even though I have the certificates and experience to prove it.”
Zoe, 23 – who has completed a two-year BTec in health and social care – is not one to give up and decided to be proactive about her situation. She has set up a Facebook page called “Getting young disabled people into employment”, and has approached MP Catherine West.
Zoe has also appeared on Channel 4 News, in a piece about the challenges disabled people face in the workplace.
She told a Channel 4 interviewer: “I’m really fed up. I’m feeling really depressed at the moment, I’m attending all these interviews and not getting anywhere.
“I think it’s due to my disability.”
Zoe would love to be a nursery or SEN assistant, but although she currently volunteers in a nursery, she doesn’t feel she has had a chance to prove herself.
She is now appealing to the Greater London Assembly (GLA) to implement a policy to ensure young people with disabilities are protected from discrimination in the job market.
Ms West told the Ham&High: “I had the pleasure of meeting Zoe recently to discuss her concerns, although the issues we discussed were deeply concerning it was fantastic to see Zoe leading on this important issue.
“Indeed I fully support the aims of her campaign to ensure that people with disabilities are able to get jobs.
“Zoe and I are keen to work with the key stakeholders, including the Job Centre, to ensure there are systems of support in place to allow disabled people to not only secure a job but reach their full potential.”
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