I live with epilepsy and a severe hearing loss. Neither disability means that I am incapable of any sort of work.
I have known about my hearing difficulties since the late 1960's and my epilepsy since the late 1970's neither were a job problem in my prime. I have had some fairly important jobs despite those disabilities. I have been a Senior Nursing Officer in the NHS; a Company Director in private health care and an education and training advisor in the University sector.
Until 1997, neither of my disabilities had stopped me from working. In 1997 I crashed a car that I was driving into a neighbour's car in the car park outside my house because I had an epileptic fit whilst driving. It was in a car park, I was reversing slowly into a parking space, but putting my foot on the gas during the fit wrote off both cars!
I had two baby children at the time, the thought that the fit could have happened on the A55 with the babies in the car was sickening, I haven't driven since and I never ever want to drive again.
Even if I wanted to drive again, once the DVLA discovered that I had a fit whilst driving they cancelled my driving licence anyway! Because I lost my driving licence I lost my job!
The Government decided that I could receive "incapacity benefit" as a result of losing my job.
As a lip reader I thought that I could train to be a lip-reading teacher,(they are few and far between in Wales. At the time none of them could teach lip-reading in Welsh), but I was told NO – I would have to pay for my training and lose all benefits because training would prove that I am not "incapable" of working.
So I remain, a scrounger, a sponger, a ne'r do well, a person left on the scrap heap, because I was useful as one incapable by the last government to hide true job seeker numbers but one deserving of opprobrium by the current government as a scapegoat for the burden on the public purse.
But not considered by either as a person living with a disability who can make a positive contribution to society.