Brave Lizzie battles prejudice to land dream job

Dorset Echo: Lizzie Court Lizzie Court

A YOUNG woman with a facial deformity is calling for people to change their attitudes after undergoing 19 job interviews without being offered a job.

Lizzie Court, 21, has eight GCSEs and three BTEC diplomas and has spent the seven months since she left Weymouth College applying for numerous jobs in travel and tourism and reception roles.

She turned to Abilities – a Weymouth charity which helps people with disabilities find work – and was offered and has accepted a reception desk job at the charity.

Lizzie, from Preston, said: I think some people may have been put off by my face but I can’t say that for all the interviews.

“I have wanted to have a job for so long.

“When I heard that I had a job on the Abilities reception I was delighted.”

Lizzie was born with Goldenhar Syndrome. She was born without a jaw, left eye and left ear.

The only learning difficulties Lizzie has stem from having half of the vision and hearing ability other people have.

Lizzie’s mum Catherine, 61, said: “We understand that there is a big issue with youth unemployment at the moment but Lizzie has been for a lot of interviews.”

Her dad David, 60, said: “She has got down to the final few for jobs so many times so there can’t be anything wrong with her CV.

“It’s a hard thing to say and I’m sure all these employers would defend it, but the sad reality is that there are issues of people discriminating.”

Lizzie’s parents say people approach her to look at her face when the family is dining in a restaurant or walking in the street.

Her dad David, 60, said: “The difficulties Lizzie has in her life are intolerance and ignorance.

“It’s hard to believe what people like her go through. We’ve had people follow us around to look at Lizzie and come up to us to take a closer look without saying anything.

“It hurts me but it doesn’t hurt Elizabeth – she deals with it tremendously.

“You don’t expect people to still be having this kind of attitude today.”

Katherine said: “If people were to say to her ‘what’s the matter with your face?’, you can explain it and it’s not hurtful.”

Lizzie was born with a 49 degree curvature of the spine and wore a body cast 23 hours a day from the age of 18 months to 16.

She has had 15 operations and is due to have three more.

Her dad said: “Lizzie has experienced four seizures and had one while she was taking her GCSEs.

“She is an inspiring person and she has bounced back so quickly. It is unbelievable to think of the depression she has gone through trying to find a job.”

Comments (4)

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7:23am Thu 23 Jan 14

Parkstreetshufle says...

Lizzie should leave this town and try life in a major metropolis. They reward hard work and perseverance in a place like London. In a place like Dorset, they will only ever see someone that's different in some way. Provenance is everything here, who you know and not what you know. It should be the other way around but depressingly it's not.
It's hard to imagine not having your family around if you are so inclined, and maybe hard if you have medical needs, but in larger cities there is more anonymity and less prejudice. If I had a job to give her I would do so, just for having the balls to stand in front of the camera and say give me a job.
Lizzie should leave this town and try life in a major metropolis. They reward hard work and perseverance in a place like London. In a place like Dorset, they will only ever see someone that's different in some way. Provenance is everything here, who you know and not what you know. It should be the other way around but depressingly it's not. It's hard to imagine not having your family around if you are so inclined, and maybe hard if you have medical needs, but in larger cities there is more anonymity and less prejudice. If I had a job to give her I would do so, just for having the balls to stand in front of the camera and say give me a job. Parkstreetshufle

8:56am Thu 23 Jan 14

rodin says...

Lizzie might like to look at the Changing Faces charity:
https://www.changing
faces.org.uk/Home
Lizzie might like to look at the Changing Faces charity: https://www.changing faces.org.uk/Home rodin

4:43pm Thu 23 Jan 14

WestDorsetLass says...

Good luck Lizzie - a fighter and survivor in an incredibly tough employment market. Hope it all works out brilliantly for you :)
Good luck Lizzie - a fighter and survivor in an incredibly tough employment market. Hope it all works out brilliantly for you :) WestDorsetLass

4:48pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Polyvista says...

So pleased you have got a job. Now the sky's the limit!
Very best wishes for the future.
So pleased you have got a job. Now the sky's the limit! Very best wishes for the future. Polyvista

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