We’ve launched our first ever podcast episode telling the story of 22-year-old twins, Shauna-Louise and Stephen, and the challenges they have faced in finding paid employment.

Both twins have Asperger’s syndrome, but Shauna is also dyslexic and has a condition which makes her sensitive to light. Shauna identifies as transgender and she has also experienced some mental health problems including anxiety and depression.

Shauna and Stephen are currently doing a supported internship programme with United Response, which aims to teach skills and provide experience which will put the twins in a good position to find paid work. They are currently both happy and optimistic about the future.

However, the journey to this stage in their life has not been easy. This podcast is their story.

Download podcast script


UK employment statistics:

  • 5.8% of people with a learning disability are in employment
  • 49.6% of disabled people are in employment
  • 80.4% of non-disabled people are in employment

In the winter of 2016, the Government brought out a Green Paper called Improving Lives: the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper, which looked at ways to help close the disability employment gap. In response to the Green Paper, we talked to people we support across the UK to see what they thought were the biggest barriers preventing them from getting into work. The twins’ story was just one of many that we heard.

We wrote up 12 key recommendations for the Government to help close the learning disability employment gap and submitted a response to the Green Paper.

Read our recommendations and Green Paper response

On 30th November 2017, the Government issued a report in which it outlined its plans to improve employment prospects for people with disabilities over the next 10 years. This was entitled Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability.

Read our response to the report

United Response supports people with learning disabilities and autism to find paid employment, through its supported employment services based in York, Cornwall and Greater Manchester.

Find out more about our supported employment services