I remember in one of my last paid jobs, in Adam Smith/Fife College 2006/8, where I set up and managed a student mentoring project, also found work placements for students with disabilities and others who were long-term unemployed, that a manager said to me I'd never be able to find placements because the last person wasn't able to.
Well, I thought, what a daft thing to say and didn't believe it. I found many placements for students, some of whom got jobs out of it. Others had a life affirming experience being treated with dignity in a workplace, learning to be part of a team. Here are a couple of newspaper article about a placement at KingdomFM, for which I wrote the strapline, and another one about a workshop I organised in the Leven campus:
|see me front right!|
I had a great time working at the college where I also achieved another postgraduate qualification, in care lecturing. I went from this emancipatory setting, which had hierarchical stuff going on, into Scotland's mental health world as a recovery trainer, promoting the peer support model.
And came face-to-face with a bullying, discriminating environment where I was excluded from many meetings and events for being myself. Much of this badmouthing and backstabbing came from the user movement and the hangers-on. I soon learnt to watch my back and practise my skills as a resistance fighter.