Judge me by my food, not disability, says this star chef in Scotland
Kieran Toner spent his entire time in school being disruptive and had few qualifications to be fit for a job. It was only when he was diagnosed with autism that things looked up.
Today he is a chef at Scotland's Gleneagles Hotel and is urging employers to give a chance to people with learning disabilities.
23-year-old Kieran says that people with learning disabilities have a lot to offer and that because Gleneagles gave him a chance, he has been able to go places.
In Scotland, the employment rate for adults with a learning disability is estimated at 5.3%, compared to the overall employment rate of 75.2%.
Thanks to the organisation Enable Scotland, which supports people with disabilities through its Enable Works program, thousands of disabled have been welcomes into the workforce.
Keiran today works with Jonathan Wright, who is the head chef at Gleneagles' Strathearn Restaurant. He insists that he does not want to be known as the 'chef with a learning disability', but to be judged on his work.
He says he loves the creativity of cooking, trying new things and exploring tastes and textures. He also loves the logical side of cooking, and most of all when people enjoy the food.
Enable Scotland has also started a program with the University of Strathclyde Business School and ScottishPower to break down barriers into education and employment for people with learning disabilities.