My daughter would love to have a job, but there are so many barriers

Teresa is mother to Sian, 26. All Teresa wants is for her daughter to be able to live with friends and work, but that dream is more challenging than it seems.

My daughter, Sian has been supported by Sense for the past five years. When she was learning to use her white cane, the lady who was teaching her suggested that we contact Sense. Sian loves to be out and about, so Sense arranged for somebody to support her with that.

Sian’s goals for the future

Sian, a young woman with long brown hair, stands smiling in front of a Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum sign.

Sian is 26 now and doesn’t go out without an adult with her for support. Having someone there has allowed her to do so many things that she loves to do like going to visit Wimbledon.

Most importantly though, it allows her to volunteer and do work experience with other organisations. Sian used to go to the local library and help with some of their sessions and setting up the book displays.

Before Covid, Sian was also doing work experience with another charity by helping set up their presentations. This is incredibly important for her confidence and her future. Sian would like nothing more than to have her own job and her own home. She would still need help, but we work together as a family to prepare her for when she does move out.

It’s a difficult world to progress in

I would love to Sian hold down a job, but I know how difficult that is now. There are people out there with degrees who struggle to find a job.

We know that we will not be around forever, and it is important that she spends time with people her own age. All we want is for her to have the options needed to progress in the world.

It’s a difficult world to progress in for everyone and for people with disabilities, there are a lot more barriers.

Right now, she can do so many things because of the benefits that she receives, which we are all grateful for. But if she were to pursue her dreams of getting a job, all that would change. We even must limit the number of hours that she volunteers because we don’t want it to affect the money she receives.

“It’s a difficult world to progress in for everyone and for people with disabilities, there are a lot more barriers.”

Sharing experiences helps everyone

We all need help at some point, and some people are better at asking for it than others.

For a big part of Sian’s life, we didn’t even know that Sense existed. She could have had support from Sense for way longer. We just didn’t know, and I’m sure we’re not the only family.

Sense’s Potential and Possibility research is incredibly important to find out about people’s concerns and experiences. We all want what is best for people living with complex disabilities and their families.

Find out more about our latest research

Potential and Possibility is our report on what people with complex disabilities most want to change. Find out more about disabled people’s experiences with employment, healthcare and politics by reading the full report.