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Finding suitable work and planning a career can be a major concern for many students with a disability or health condition.

The Careers & Employability Service can offer additional support and can provide information, advice and guidance on accessing disability confident employers and voluntary organisations, disclosing your disability and requesting reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process and beyond.

If you feel a chat with a careers advisor would be useful, you can book an appointment on My Career Enriched. Remember we are here to help throughout your studies and for up to 3 years after your graduate.

  • Finding disability friendly employers

    More and more employers have a disability confident culture. This means that they openly value the strengths and talents that employees with disabilities or health conditions bring and recognise that disability is no barrier to success.

    The Government’s Disability Confident Employer Scheme aims to increase understanding about disability, challenge organisational culture and assist employers develop inclusive recruitment practices. The scheme has three different levels. The higher the level, the more disability confident they will be.

    Examples of disability confident employers can be found on our information sheet "Accessing Disability Confident Employers and Voluntary Organisations" here: disability confident employers

    Useful links and articles

  • Disclosure

    Disclosing your disability or health condition is very much a matter of personal choice. If you are worried about disclosing, you may find it useful to talk it though with the Careers and Employability Service. You can book a confidential appointment via My Career Enriched. All our appointments are available face-to-face, or by telephone or Skype.

    Alternatively, you may find some of your concerns answered in our information sheet disclosing your disability

     Useful links and articles

     

  • Requesting adjustments to the recruitment process and beyond

    Employers are legally required to make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure that a disabled employee is not treated less favourably than their non-disabled counterpart. “Reasonable adjustments” might include additional accessibility support or a change in the assessment format to enable you to demonstrate your full potential.

    Most employers provide an outline of their recruitment process, so applicants know what to expect, but if you are still unsure, it is perfectly reasonable to ask. For example, the selection process may involve written tests, tasks, an interview or group activities which you know will put you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants.

    Examples of reasonable adjustments that an employer could make include:

    • A rest break in between the interview and assessment test
    • Use of a sign language interpreter
    • Assistive technology (eg larger screen, screen reading software)
    • A verbal test rather than a written one
    • Extra time to complete a test
    • An interview room with level access

    Remember that whilst you do not have to ‘disclose’ your condition when you are applying for a job, if you are going to ask for ‘reasonable adjustments’, then you will need to say that you are disabled or have a health conditon and you will need to specify what kind of adjustment would help

    Always summarise the adjustments you feel would help in an email so there is a written record of your needs. It also means your request can be fowarded to people in the company who may have responsibility for equipment, or buildings for example. It’s important too that you tell the recruiter as soon as you receive the invitation to attend an interview or assessment day. This gives them time to prepare and also creates a posiitve impression of your planning and organisational skills.

    Reasonable adjustments in the workplace

    Access to Work (ATW) provides government funding for people with disabilities in paid employment. You can apply for an ATW grant, which helps pay for reasonable adjustments in the workplace. This can help pay for items or services such as computer software or special equipment, note-takers, taxi fares to work if you can’t use public transport.

    Useful links and articles

  • Identifying your strengths

    Always focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do, and avoid making your impairment the topic of your interview. If your condition has helped you develop useful and relevant transferable skills and personal qualities, mention these as strengths. For example, being able to pursue academic studies while managing your disability or health condition demonstrates determination and resilience to succeed.

    Likewise, attending medical appointments in between academic studies demonstrates the ability to manage time very effectively. You may also have had to explain and even negotiate your support requirements to a range of people. This will have developed your communication skills.

    Useful links and articles

     

  • Disability networking events and support

    There are many local and national organisations that offer support and networking events to people with disabilities and health conditions.

    The Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support, advice and training to organisations wishing to become fully accessible to employees and customers. Their website includes a list of their partners – a wide range of industries from banks, retailers, universities, broadcasters and local authorities.

    Creative Minds – brings together artists and performers with learning disabilities.

    Scope – online community connected by disability.

    Evenbreak – social enterprise run by disabled people for disabled people.

    Remploy – disability specialist with online and branch support

    Disabled Workers Co-operative

     

     

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