These days, it seems that many people are out of a job or unemployed. Some might be waiting for the next stimulus check to get by, and some might be relying on other benefits. However, some are trying to get back to work, and with help wanted signs posted everywhere, it’s odd how many are finding it really difficult to get hired.
Now, if we take that situation and apply it to disabled people trying to get jobs, things begin to look pretty bleak. However, one lady has stepped up and is trying to change those dark clouds.
Letisha Wexstten is the organizer and CEO of V15Able (pronounced visible).
Taking care of business is nothing new to Letisha, however, she may get it done a bit more uniquely in contrast to the vast majority.
She was born with no arms and at an early age needed to figure out how to do everything with just her feet. Letisha has helped inspire individuals all over the world through her YouTube channel Tisha UnArmed, where she makes educational and clever recordings of her day-to-day existence without arms.
She feels employers had questions like whether her inability would keep her from finishing her work at any jobs.
Perceiving that others with handicaps must encounter the same hindrances, she created V15Able in 2019. The 15 in V15Able addresses the 15% of the worldwide populace dealing with handicaps. She built the job portal website, where individuals with handicaps can interface with bosses while learning at UMSL in 2019 through the Entrepreneurial Quest Accelerator (EQ) program and won a $15,000 grant.
“You can upload information about your career goals, your skills, other information, any experience you have. But, we take it a step further by asking you questions about your disability and what accommodations you need, what equipment you would need to work,” Wexstten continued. “We have a feature where you can upload a video of you working or driving. When employers pull up your V15Able account they can learn more about you and see you’re capable of doing those jobs,” she added.
V15Able is tied in with creating a place of refuge where questions get responded to and exciting new opportunities can be found. The U.S. Agency of Labor Statistics reports the joblessness rate in 2020 was the most elevated its been in the last seven years.
Letisha said a major piece of the stunning employment hole is due to a lack of understanding, saying:
“Our tagline is ‘Changing the world one hire at a time.’ We love that because the more people with disabilities who are in the employment industry, the easier it will be to hire the next person with a disability. I’m hoping that maybe 20 years from now, V15Able won’t be needed because there’s more understanding, there’s more education around what a disability is and how to accommodate it.”
Presently, the V15Able website is in stage one, where work searchers can make their own profiles on the website. Letisha and the group said they’re excited to move to stage two, where businesses can make profiles to share the facilities they offer in the work environment. V15Able is needing financial backers to get it pushed through to the next stage, but it’s a step that’ll give hope to thousands upon thousands of people, and we’re rooting for the cause, as well as Letisha!