Supporting disabled students with careers
Finding work when you have a disability can seem like a daunting prospect. The Careers Service are here to help!
From wondering how employers will react, to knowing what adjustments to ask for during the application and interview stage, it can all add to what can already be quite a stressful experience.
However the law is there to protect your rights and there are lots of other organisations that support you and businesses to ensure that you are able to access work opportunities.
To access a variety of careers appointments, events and resources, register on mycareer.leeds.ac.uk.
If you require any academic support, please read the information at the bottom of this page from Disability Services.
What to look for when looking for work
Most employers have a policy and are positive about recruiting and retaining disabled people Some employers make this clear by signing up to schemes such as the Disability Confident employer scheme, the Business Disability Forum and Mindful Employer's Charter for employers who are positive about mental health. However, just because employers are not signed up to these schemes doesn’t mean they are not positive in supporting disabled applicants or employees.
Some useful things to research about a potential employer:
See if they have the disability confident symbol to show they encourage applications from disabled people
Check if the job advert affirms that they are an equal opportunities employer
Look at their equal opportunities policy on their website
Check if they offer application forms in different formats or mention adjustments for applicants, with disabilities, on their website or in the job advert.
Applying for a job
There are a number of websites that specifically promote opportunities for disabled people including our partner organisation EmployAbility:
Next Generation Inclusive University partnership with EmployAbility
As a Next Generation Inclusive University, our commitment to disability inclusion and equity is at the heart of who we are and what we do. That is why we have partnered with EmployAbility to ensure that you can access support and advice for a barrier-free recruitment process for any applications you make. Speak to us or contact a member of the team directly at email@example.com
Register now at employ-ability.org.uk/register
After you have registered with us on our website, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any support
Apply to top inclusive employers for internships, graduate programs, insight days, events, directly through us
We advise and support on the adjustments you may need for the recruitment process and the workplace an advocate on your behalf with any potential employer
Our services are completely free and confidential
Keep an eye on future communications from EmployAbility on Instagram, Disability Services and from Careers.
Other useful resources:
Disability Rights UK is the UK’s leading organisation led by, run by, and working for Disabled people.
UK’s most accessible job board to connect the employers and disabled students.
There are lots of different employment sectors looking for people with the skills and talents you possess. Rest assured that all the companies listing with us are committed to inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace.
Disability Jobsite assists disabled people to participate actively in employment and plays a critical role in supporting disabled people on the pathway to work.
MyPlus Students’ Club provides essential careers advice to the 16% of disabled students or long-term health condition*. We work with top graduate employers and university services to help students realise their career potential.
These websites promote specific opportunities but this should not put you off using other job sites too.
Once you have applied for a job you need to decide whether you will be open about your disability, if so, at what stage you will be ready? If you are ready you will be able to discuss any adjustments you might need to enable you to perform to your full potential during recruitment and if you are appointed to the role.
If you have ever had exam arrangements in previous study, extra support in school, or have a long-term medical condition, please come and speak to Disability Services about adjustments and support we can offer to remove barriers you experience in your studies.
Disability and employability resources
We’ve created a pack full of disability and employability resources in Sway. You can also contact the Careers Service for more information or follow the Careers Service (@leedsunicareers) on Instagram. For example, take a look at our post on reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process.
We are here to support you in your academic year by:
Advising your academic School on the support you may need in your learning
Recommending academic adjustments for your course
Giving you advice on a range of matters, from funding to assistive technology
Providing you with ongoing support throughout your time at Leeds
Disabled students make up over 14% of the student body at Leeds. We know that the word “disability” can mean different things to different people, and you may not have thought of yourself as being disabled before. But it is worth considering whether you might be entitled to support.
We support people who:
are D/deaf or hearing impaired are blind or visually impaired
have a physical disability, and/or mobility difficulties have a specific learning difficulty (for example, dyslexia or dyspraxia)
have a neurodevelopmental condition (for example, AD(H)D)
have a neurological condition (for example, MS, epilepsy, Tourette Syndrome, stammer)
have a mental health condition
have a long-term medical condition (e.g., chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV)
have a combination of these
This is not exhaustive list. Please contact us if you have any questions about the support we offer.
Find out more about our Service and how to access support in our student handbook: