Woof: Glasgow’s Disabled To Be Offered “Incentives” To Engage in Work.

Scottish Union seeks a £92000 cash injection to train employers in BASIC humanity.

Philippa Cooper
7 min readMar 25, 2022


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This is one of the situations where I have to point out that I am a human first and a disabled person second. And I hate doing that because I am not one without the other. I want to work, I do work. I do not require engagement or inspiring. I don’t need convincing or bribed. I require a job market that inspires me and is willing to engage me with me. I am not refusing to be a valuable member of a work force, I’m refusing to bend over backwards to receive the same treatment, results and fulfilment from a job as a typically-bodied and typically-minded person.

For £100 per membership the Scottish Union of Supported Employment provides information for those interested in ensuring that disadvantaged people across Scotland have the opportunity of a working life.

Photo by Yomex Owo on Unsplash

Their aim is to half the Disability Employment Gap by 2038 by identifying and backing 10 Glasgow employers and 100 of their employees, to engage disabled people in the world of work while consulting with employers to report challenges, successes and sustainability plans.


Job satisfaction has a direct impact on individual self-worth and social-capital. It increases productivity in the work-place, enhances motivation and increases commitment to a company therefore keeping the employee pool experienced and rich while attracting new people to work. Being a person with a disability automatically reduces your social-capital as standard on a macro level. Limited mobility or atypical mental processing means limited connections and opportunities for connecting. There are distinct differences in how we live and approach life in comparison to someone who isn’t disabled. And there is a reported and sustained lack of trust in the reported disabled experience. And though these are well studied and sustained impactors on social-capital founded by Chen et al in 2008, they are secularly redundant.

When you observe the disabled model, we are already in a tragic deficit just by nature of disability. The world is made for the standing and the neurotypical. Yet the majority of the people are not “typical” in the slightest while expecting this illusory “normal” standard; these are the Karen’s who are out there with all their limbs and limbic system functioning demanding to see the manager over a missing heel of bread.

The employment market, even following the restrictions/ benefits of working from home during the Covid 19 crisis, still places the bulk of a person’s capital on how much that individual costs the company in the short term rather than what they bring in the long term. With job satisfaction; absenteeism, turnover and low work drive cost more in the short term. The employment sector clings to this idea that every business is doing everything they can to make a job attractive, therefore it must be the jobseeker with the issue.

I was once hired in an outlet store of a high-end jewellers who took issue with me sitting down…because it was unfair on other employees and it “looked bad”. Regardless of my proven sales skills, time-keeping, or general interest in the company; my sitting, my inquisitive nature, and my “abnormal” approach to training. I simply asked if the company had an alternate approach to The Last Czar of Russia for it’s egg earrings; if it was going to harp on about Nicholas’ sentiment of love being demonstrated in a costly, custom Fabergé egg for his wife…it doesn’t detract from the impoverished revolutionists battering down the gates.


They terminated my contract. I also couldn’t attend the second session of training as it was up a steep flight of stairs in the centre of London and the first day had been nearly physically impossible; the straw that broke the camels back was the fact that I couldn’t be seen to be sitting, as a disabled person with a disability aid, in a place where everyone else was standing. However, I was advised that the hotel was chosen specifically to accommodate me (though I was hurriedly rushed onto the training at the last minute with 25 other people), and that I had already received so many benefits from the company; essentially a lazy attempt at inclusion and equality. They had done me the favour of hiring me; my skill-set was irrelevant.

To this day, I question adopting a sales technique involving The Last Czar of Russia producing extravagant and expensive gifts for his wife in the name of love during a time of war… while his people were starving, Links London.

But you seem to have since changed tack and dropped the Romanov link entirely, so I can forgive;

The Links of London Hope Egg Earrings a very attractive and important symbol in Russian culture, traditionally given for birthdays, festivals, etc.

This egg represents hope and new life and is crafted from Sterling Silver.

This is not something that is specific to disabled people. And it was something The Last Czar understood implicitly; Capitalism cannot be applied on a fundamentally human level for a variety of reasons but the main being that individual growth does not make big businesses big money in record time. Human decency, when done correctly, is an economic black hole. You cannot expect a return while maintaining a humanitarian mission. It is a passion project; even one so small as providing for the mental, physical and emotional health of an employee.

The fact that £92,000 is the amount assigned to basic human decency is laughable. The fact that it is aimed towards engaging an already engaged party is simply a waste. The fact that it is being paid to increase others basic awareness of inclusion, something a 4 year old can easily grasp, rather than lowering a desk or introducing a sensory room seems ill-advised. This is a non-corporeal issue that demands physical manifestation to make it whole.

Photo by Taisiia Stupak on Unsplash

I do not need to be given an additional ‘treat’ in exchange for hard work in order to understand the merit of engaging in the world of work. I have been awake and working on this piece of writing since 8am.

The world of work needs to engage in the idea that social-capital and human decency is not something you can economically rely upon. Anyone that watches Dragons Den can understand a simple truth; if no economic return can be demonstrated then most, if not all, investors are out.

And so it comes to this; a change in attitude. Across the board. Handing £92,000 over to 10 employers to train tolerance to 100 people in a country where accessibility and disability is still enshrined in law but undermined by it’s own building restrictions, devastating cuts to services, and an over-all improving, but negative perspective on those with a disability as too lazy, incompetent, or stupid to engage with work as discussed here.

Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

Glasgow’s answer to high rates of unemployed disabled people is giving disabled people stones in an effort to teach them how to suck eggs and then measure our productivity on the ability to squeeze liquid from stone. We don’t need an incentive; we need the eggs.





Personal Social Capital Scale: an instrument for health and behavioral research X. Chen, B. Stanton, J. Gong, X. Fang, X. Li
Health Education Research, Volume 24, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 306–317, https://doi.org/10.1093/her/cyn020



Philippa Cooper

Furious learner, exploring personal development, mental health advocacy and human connections. Check out my website: borderlinekitty.com/