Vaibhav Adlakha (Associate Lawyer, Reed Smith)

How do you define your disability?

Cerebral Palsy with Visual Motor Perception.

I have restricted mobility in my arms and legs and use a wheelchair. I don’t have a sense of weight bearing, because my brain can’t communicate with my legs.

Visual-motor perception difficulties affect my sense of direction and perception of figures. As a result, I need a companion to guide me, because I can’t distinguish, for example, the height of pavements.

I also have slow reading and writing ability, which I counter with text-to-speech software and help from my personal assistant.

How does your company promote and support disability in the work place?

Reed Smith played a vital role in my development and provided support at every stage of my training, for both physical and mental adjustments. This included providing an assistant, special software and mechanics, but – most importantly – understanding and flexibility.

At every stage, Reed Smith helped and guided me to perform at my best. They’re the firm that supported my journey from disability to ability. Nothing is impossible for me now. My success is their success.

What words of encouragement would you give to disabled people looking to find success in the workplace?

It’s important never to fear failure, because failure makes you stronger. In fact, I go by the words of Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better’.

It’s fundamental to have a good support system around you, and to remain positive.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.’

Where can people find out more?

For more information on seeking graduate and undergraduate opportunities, including training contract and summer vacation schemes:

www.reedsmith.com/ukgraduates

For experienced-hire opportunities:

www.reedsmith.com/en/careers/regions/united-kingdom

For more information on our diversity and inclusion initiatives:

www.reedsmith.com/en/diversity