National disability charity, United Response, has launched a new podcast episode, to highlight the challenges facing young people with disabilities looking for employment.

The podcast tells the story of 22-year-old twins from Cornwall, Shauna-Louise and Stephen, who both have Asperger’s syndrome. Both twins are looking for paid employment with support from United Response.

The podcast highlights the challenges the twins faced at school, followed by the further barriers which arose when they transitioned out of education and began to look for work.

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At present, just 15% of people with autism and less than 6% of people with a learning disability in the UK are in paid employment. The podcast follows a Government announcement of plans to transform employment prospects for disabled people over the next 10 years.

Shauna-Louise and Stephen talk openly about their experiences, including bullying, coping with anxiety and depression, and the challenges they faced when claiming benefits.

They discuss why they were put in different groups when claiming Employment Support Allowance and how this has affected their lives individually.

John J C Cooper, United Response’s Public Affairs and Strategic Policy Lead, said:

“This podcast illustrates the real, every day challenges people with learning disabilities and autism face in finding employment. Shauna-Louise and Stephen’s story is a prime example of how barriers faced in childhood education and adult life can prevent people with disabilities from reaching their full potential.

“It is vital that government provides resources to put Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), in place so that people with learning disabilities and autism have a route map to employment firmly established from age 14.

“At United Response, we firmly believe that everyone who wants to work, can work with the right support. Our podcast highlights why and how key changes need to be made to enable more people with learning disabilities and autism to find paid employment.”

To find out more about United Response’s recommendations on closing the learning disability employment gap, read our response to the Government's report: 'Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability':