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Wolverhampton campaigner takes fight to Parliament over 'hidden disability' FASD

A Wolverhampton disability campaigner says a hidden condition that impacts her maths and memory skills has led to her getting turned down for more than 100 jobs.

Janice Pickard (Chloe’s foster mother), Chloe, Tom Pursglove MP, Jane Stevenson MP and Gerald Pickard (Chloe’s foster father)

Chloe Lambert from Oxley was diagnosed with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) when she was aged seven, making it impossible for her to achieve GCSE maths.

She says that despite applying for more than 100 jobs after leaving education she has been unable to find work, with employers often demanding a maths qualification.

The 21-year-old has now met with Minister for Disabled People, Tom Pursglove MP, as part of her campaign to highlight the devastating impact of FASD.

At a meeting set up by Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson in Westminster that was also attended by her foster parents, Chloe called for the launch of a new scheme aimed at supporting young people with hidden disabilities into work.

Chloe said: "It is unfair that people like me who really want to work are being discriminated against when we have lots of skills to offer.

"I have a real passion for working with young children but am not being given an opportunity to do so.

"People must be made aware of different types of hidden disabilities. Employers should consider what people with hidden disabilities can do to the best of their ability rather than focusing on what they can’t do.

"I think that there needs to be a work scheme like the old Youth Training Scheme (YTS) that will allow people with hidden disabilities the opportunity to learn a job without the need for qualifications and be paid at the same time. We need better support for disabled employees."

Ms Stevenson said: "I want to congratulate Chloe for her determined campaign to speak up for those with FASD and other hidden disabilities.

"Every job seeker should receive advice tailored to their needs, and in Chloe’s case this hasn’t happened.

"Chloe did a fantastic job explaining her experiences to the minister. I want to thank Tom Pursglove for meeting us, and for agreeing to monitor Chloe’s case so we can help her into work and improve services for all disabled jobseekers."

It took health professionals years to identify FASD, which represents a range of body and brain conditions that affect people whose birth mother drank during pregnancy.

It is considered a hidden disability as many people live with it without ever properly being diagnosed.

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