Words by Colette Carr

Former Paralympian Liz Johnson has been named on the 2018 BBC 100 Women list, just months after her new employment agency got off the ground.

The ex-swimmer and co-founder of The Ability People came in at 45 after launching TAP, a new and innovative recruitment agency which is staffed entirely by people with disabilities. Looking to close the disability employment gap, the company works with employers to place people into work with the focus on ability.

The BBC list, which includes three other women with disabilities, celebrates inspiring women of influence from all over the world, with Liz honoured to be recognised.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been included in this year’s BBC 100 Women list. To be recognised along with such passionate and hard-working women is an incredible honour,” she began.

“These one hundred women come from around the world, representing every imaginable discipline across a range of ages, and demonstrate that women all over the globe are pioneering and pushing hard for change. I don’t think we can stress enough the importance of spotlighting such women. Their work and creativity is an inspiration for those of any gender identity and this spotlight is also important in challenging traditional media representations.

“This recognition is fantastic in highlighting the work of The Ability People (TAP) and all we aim to achieve. I hope this helps shine the spotlight on the disability employment gap and encourages more employers to focus on ability rather than disability.”

Speaking to PosAbility for our October/November issue, Liz explained that, “through my other work I met my business partner Steve Carter and he is from the world of recruitment, so I did some work with him in the recruitment industry. I was then at home and I saw on TV over a third of disabled people of working age are unemployed. Obviously, there could be a host of different reasons as to why that could be, but initially I wanted to look into more detail why that was.

“I still want to do that, but when I was speaking with Steve, I realised that in the recruitment industry, it doesn’t matter where you’re based or how you work, meaning you could work flexible hours or remotely and it could enable people to have the life balance they required.”

To learn more about The Ability People, visit theabilitypeople.com.

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