British Paralympic swimming champion, businesswoman and disability advocate Liz Johnson has launched global online marketplace PodiumByTAP for persons with disabilities to coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day on 21 May.
Her goal is to connect persons with disabilities and ambitious employers to work on freelance projects remotely.
By following a simple registration process, those looking for freelance work can create a personal profile and have access to current job postings, identify suitable roles and contact the employer directly.
Companies looking to hire will be able to follow a similar registration process, create a company profile, post assignments, and search available freelance workers and contact them directly.
The fee for Podium’s services is shared with the freelancer’s chosen charity.
“Persons with disabilities are the masters of working from home and are probably the ones who have adapted best to the current lockdown situation impacting many countries around the world,” Johnson said.
“Ultimately, I think this platform offers a whole range of opportunities for active Para athletes and those who have retired from sport who are looking to earn revenue and get their foot in the door with an employer.”
Johnson is the co-founder and Managing Director of The Ability People (TAP), through which together with her team (all of whom have disabilities) aims to inspire, educate and change global brands on how they redefine the issue of disability in their present and future workforce.
Chelsey Gotell, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes' Council, said: “In the Paralympic Movement we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of outstanding individuals like Liz Johnson, who contribute to a more inclusive society through the integration of people with disabilities into the workforce.
“This programme is a game changer for Para athletes in their career development outside of sport. This is one of the tougher ongoing conversations that can be overwhelming for many athletes to consider; their career will eventually come to an end and they are looking for opportunities to expand their skillset and grow professionally beyond the field of play.
“As a global programme with no limitations to where a freelancer can work from, it has the ability to give Para athletes the flexibility to confidently explore the workforce and develop their skills alongside organisations and companies who believe in everything this programme and many of our athletes stand for.”