The award-winning documentary series, Employable Me, returns to ABC TV in April. The second series follows the stories of nine people with disabilities as they look for meaningful work. It seeks to challenge stereotypes and attitudes to employing people with disabilities.
Employable Me director, Cian O’Clery said that the second series followed people with a wider range of disabilities, including Tourette syndrome, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, Dwarfism, Down syndrome and autism. However, the issues faced by people with disabilities looking for work remained the same.
‘People who are different to the norm are too often discounted by employers and not given the chance to prove their worth, or to show what unique skills and abilities they have,’ he said.
‘Employable Me gives our participants a voice and allows the audience to get to know them as people, not as labels. As a result of the series, I hope it isn’t only employers who will think more about the value of diversity. From people’s differences arise great talents and valuable perspectives that have the potential to make our society richer,’ Mr O’Clery said
Among those featured in the new series is twenty-year-old Eric. Eric has cerebral palsy which affects his balance and speech. While he already volunteers for the local Surf Life Saving club and the fire brigade, he’s determined to find a job in the health sector. But he wants people to see him as the skilled and intelligent person he is.
‘I want people to see me before they see the disability,’ Eric said.
It’s a sentiment echoed by eighteen-year-old Sarah who has Achondroplasia, resulting in dwarfism. Sarah has recently high school and is keen to try out a few different jobs. She wants to be sure of the job she wants before she returns to study. Sarah doesn’t see her height as a barrier, but she knows that others likely do.
The series pairs the job seekers with experts and job coaches and enlists their families to help them find the role that suits them.
The first series of Employable Me won Best Documentary or Factual Program at the 2018 AACTA Awards. It was recognised internationally at the 2018 Venice Television Awards, winning the Best Reality Series, and the 2018 Japan Prize, winning the AudioVisual Division. The series was also nominated for a Human Rights Medal at the 2018 Australian Human Rights Awards.
The first episode of the second series will screen on ABC TV on Tuesday April 9 at 8:30pm.
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