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.

What to look for

Most employers have a policy and are positive about recruiting and retaining people with a disability. 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.

Additionally, there are a few things you can do in your research to see how helpful the employer might be:

  • 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 people with a disability including:

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. 

Seeking support

There can be a lot of misconceptions about disability and the positive nature of support. You should consider seeking advice if you feel a long-term health condition is preventing you from reaching your full potential.

The University of Leeds has a range of help and information for students with disabilities which you can find on the DSAS website or via the Student Advice Centre. We’ve also created a pack full of useful disability and employability resources.

Contact the Careers Service for more information.