JENNIFER: So I think it’s really tough to be a Little Person (LP) in the job force. I think it’s important for, I think the LP community as a whole to, to really not undervalue our capabilities and the things that we can do with our careers. Hi, my name is Cuquis Robledo and today I wanna talk about an issue that is very personal to me. As you may have noticed, I am a Little Person. Specifically, I have otherwise known as S.E.M.D. for short. Because of our short stature, some Little People are sometimes stuck in jobs that reflect our short size predominantly. These include jobs such as, Christmas Elves at the mall or entertainers who are often perceived as sexualized “micro” versions of famous celebrities such as: Mini-Gaga or Mini-Britney Spears. Now, I am not saying that taking these jobs is a bad thing, but rather, we can have any job in the world and we do not have to settle! Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the stars of TLC’s “The Little Couple” and get their thoughts on the challenges Little People face in the workforce. My name is Bill Klein. I am an entrepreneur. My name is Jennifer Arnold, and I am a Neonatologist, but I’m also a simulation educator, and so as a physician, I primarily do education now. BILL: There’s a lot of labeling that goes on, that takes our stature and puts us into a bucket of, you can either be in entertainment or you shouldn’t be doing… work. JENNIFER: So when I was a candy striper volunteering in the ER. I was, you know, checking in on a couple, older couple and they said to me, “You’re working here?” I said, “Yeah, I’m volunteering this summer and I’m planning on going to medical school.” and they said, “Oh, why would you go to medical school?” and I said, “Well, I want to become a doctor.” and they said, “Well, you know don’t you juggle or play the piano or, do some type of entertainment?” and I was like, “Uh, no…?” CUQUIS: Why?! BILL: So you’re not a good juggler? JENNIFER: No! [laughs] BILL: I graduated NYU with a degree in Biology. I went out into the workforce and I started applying for jobs. There was a lot resistance both because, my appearance wasn’t what they were looking for, and I wasn’t prepared. I would say the first thing you need to do is, know that you have value that you’re bringing to your prospective employer. The second thing is, is you need to address it if, people are being shy. You need to outwardly address the concern that they might have. It’s not an obligation, but I think it’s something that helps you be more productive, so that you can take that issue, disarm them, and move on. CUQUIS: There is more awareness out there. However, that does not mean that Little People are necessarily treated equally in the workforce. We still have a long way to go. Whether a Little Person is a student, like myself, a neonatologist, a TV star, a business person, a lawyer or even a stay-at-home parent, we all have something in common: We deserve the right and equal opportunity to work hard for the job that we deserve. Cuquis: Written and directed by Cuquis Robledo. Thanks to Bill and Jen. For more stories from the Disability Rights movement: visit RootedinRights.org or follow us @RootedinRights on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and RootedinRightsVideo on YouTube.