These disabled workers who want to work

VIDEO – In France, the unemployment rate for disabled people is 18%, almost double that of able-bodied people. Behind these figures hide often chaotic life courses where work is more than a livelihood. Testimonials.

More than others, people with disabilities struggle to find a job. (10%); and their average duration of registration with Pôle emploi exceeds 800 days, i.e. 200 days more than all those registered, according to Agefiph (the Association for the management of the fund for the professional integration of disabled people ).

“The chair is scary,” sighs Hamza Hamdi. This 25-year-old student has been looking for a work-study contract in logistics for over a year. This Monday, at the Centquatre in Paris, the young man is waiting his turn to interview potential recruiters, as part of a job-dating organized by Ladapt (Association for the social and professional integration of people with disabilities) at the occasion of the 20th Disabled People’s Employment Week which is being held throughout France until Sunday. “With equal skills, all my friends from college are already in work-study. It’s annoying, he says. In June, I passed two interviews but was clearly told I couldn’t be picked up due to accessibility issues. ”

Coraline, 34, is also looking for a job in communications. Suffering from a degenerative disease for a year and a half, she has just obtained recognition as a disabled worker (RQTH). A status “difficult to assimilate” for this young active woman, remained several months on sick leave. “When the illness arrived, I had just left a company. Now she’s here and we’re trying to live together. It is important that I find an activity, to open new doors, ”she insists.

“After my accident, I had to learn to live differently. I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible. “

David, 25, paraplegic.

This need to find, through work, a semblance of a normal life, is what kept David, 25 years old, going. Mechanic at Peugeot, the young man was the victim of a serious motorcycle accident in August 2015. Since then, he has been paraplegic and has suffered numerous injuries to his back and shoulders. “After my accident, I had to learn to live differently,” he says. I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible. ” No longer able to exercise his profession, his employer offered him a professional reclassification as an after-sales assistant analyst technician at the Vélizy technical center. “The company moved to reinstate me. They gave me a special parking space or even access by a ramp to go up. They didn’t leave me in a mess, ”he admits. “Before I repaired vehicles. Now I am looking for faults. I find continuity with my old job, ”adds David.

If the company has the will, disability is not an obstacle to employment, believes Marie-Christine Perraud. At the age of 50, this accountant, who became visually impaired 15 years ago due to a degenerative disease, was hired last May at the Mail Workshop, an SME that sorts business mail and employs 23 people, including three quarters are disabled. “For me, it was not difficult to find work again because I had a good CV before becoming disabled” underlines Marie-Christine, who previously worked for ten years in a large hotel group. “But it was getting too complicated, despite the adaptations that had been made for my position. People often forget that I am visually impaired, even though I have never hidden my disability. ”

In France, on an ad hoc or final basis. Thus, 12 million French people have a disability, according to the Departmental Houses of Handicapped People (MDPH), including 5.5 million who say they have a disability.

(With AFP)