The Careers and Employability service will aim to support with individual queries regarding your disability in regards to employability. Whilst this page covers some frequently asked questions this may not answer your specific concerns therefore please book a guidance appointment with one of our advisers if you would like to discuss your career further. Please also contact us if you have trouble reading or accessing any of the information on our website/ help sheets and require them in a different format. For additional support with your disability contact student wellbeing on email@example.com.
How do I identify equal opportunity work experience/graduate schemes?
There are a number of internship and work experience schemes specifically aimed at students with disabilities; some involving very high-profile employers. We have included some examples below of organisations and resources:
- EmployAbility employ-ability.org.uk is a not-for-profit organisation which provides advice for students and graduates with disabilities. Employ-Ability also runs a wide range of internships and graduate schemes on behalf of many employers in a range of areas.
- Business Disability Forum http://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk employers' organisation with over 400 members, working closely with government and other stakeholders, sharing best practice to make it easier to employ disabled people.
- Disability Jobsite disabilityjobsite.co.uk The Disability Jobsite is developing a variety of resources and networks to enhance opportunities for employment in the UK's disabled community.
- The Shaw Trust shaw-trust.org.uk provides training and support to help people with all kinds of disabilities find employment
- Scope works with graduate recruiters to help students and graduates with disabilities to find placements or places on graduate schemes http://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/work/jobseekers.
- Disability Rights UKdisabilityrightsuk.org Provide advice on a range of disability issues, including careers. Offer internships and voluntary work
- Diversity Jobs diversityjobs.co.uk helps students and people with learning difficulties and disabilities find the right career path suited to them.
- Young Disabled People's Employment Portal Government site https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/help-and-support-for-young-disabled-people-to-find-and-stay-in-work/help-and-support-for-young-disabled-people-to-find-and-stay-in-work. This signposts young people and professionals who support them to advice and ideas to help young disabled people successfully navigate the transition to work.
Should I disclose my disability?
The issue of disclosure is an important one for employers and candidates alike. If you are applying to a specific scheme for disabled students or graduates such as the EmployAbility programme, you must disclose your disability in order that the company can support you effectively.
However for other schemes and roles you may want to consider this further. It is not compulsory for job applicants to disclose a disability: under the Equality Act 2010 it is, in most situations, illegal for employers to ask about health and disability issues when recruiting until a job offer has actually been made. They may ask for this on an equal opportunities monitoring form, but these are kept separate from your main application. Whether you choose to declare a disability before this point is therefore entirely up to you. However, there are some good reasons for telling a potential employer about a disability such as the following:
- Adjustments may need to be made to ensure that your disability does not place you at any disadvantage when taking psychometric tests, at interview or during an assessment centre. Disclosing your disability will make the interviewer more prepared.
- Many employers have a proactive equal opportunities policy and are committed to increasing opportunities for people with disabilities. Look for the “two ticks” symbol on job adverts.
- By taking the initiative in raising the issue of your disability, you can describe it in a positive way. If they know about your disability, employers must make any “reasonable adjustments”.
- If you do not declare a disability before starting work and later encounter problems at work related to your disability an employment tribunal might rule that your employer was not at fault in failing to make these adjustments for you.
When should you declare?
This is a very personal choice and may be depend on your disability. We have outlined some elements to consider at each stage of the process:
On your application/CV:
This can help to prepare an employer for interview adjustments and may work to your advantage if the employer is a two ticks employer. This will allow you to discuss your disability at interview.
Prior to the Interview
If you have to make special arrangements to attend an interview (for example, physical access to the building, extra time on tests), you can raise matters in your acceptance letter, stating clearly and concisely if you require any equipment or facilities on the day. However, if you prefer to explain things face to face than by phone or in writing, then you could try waiting until the interview itself.
At the interview:
Disclosing your disability early on within the interview can make the interview more transparent rather than waiting till the end where you might not provide the employer or yourself enough time to discuss requirement.
When offered the post:
At this stage of the process the employer is permitted to ask questions about disabilities due to health requirements of the job. An employer can also ask about absences due to sickness once a job offer has been made (but not before) and can also ask for more information about any such absences, including medical evidence. However, they cannot reject someone because they have a disability; the job offer can only be withdrawn if the disability means that the candidate would not be able to do the job properly.
Whatever stage of the process you decide to disclose your disability it’s important that you present this in a positive way. Consider the advantages you bring due to the disability, e.g. your resilience and ability to tackle problems.
Is there specialist support for my disability?
We hope that the above information has provided you with relevant information. However if you are looking for support more catered to your needs the following resources provide specialist information according to disability:
Dyslexia and Dyspraxia
- British Dyslexia Association has a specific section of their website geared to applying for work, http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/employer.
- Dyspraxic Adults www.dyspraxicadults.org.uk forums including discussions relating to work and job-seeking;
ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Employ-ability www.employ-ability.org.uk have extensive experience of working with students and graduates with a wide range of disabilities including ADHD and support candidates experiencing difficulty both during recruitment and in the work place.
- AADD-UK http://aadduk.org is a site for and by adults with ADHD and has a dedicated section to workplace issues.
Asperger’s Syndrome and autistic spectrum disorders
- The National Autistic Society includes useful resources on looking for work and guides for employers, http://www.autism.org.uk/about/adult-life/work.aspx.
- Network Autism: a networking page for professionals with autism http://network.autism.org.uk/welcome
- Epilepsy Action www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/employment - introduction to epilepsy and working in the UK
- Epilepsy Society www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/AboutEpilepsy/Livingwithepilepsy/Employment/Employment
- Action on Hearing Loss www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk provides a dedicated resource for access to work.
- Deaf4Life www.deaf4life.co.uk includes a jobs section
- Deaf Unity http://deafunity.org Runs a graduate support programme in London http://deafunity.org/london-deaf-graduates-programme
- DeafPlus www.deafplus.org offers an employment and training service and the site has a useful list of links.
The following frequently asked questions cover some concerns affecting students concerned about age discrimination in the work place. However we understand that career concerns are individual to your personal situation and for that reason please book a careers guidance appointment if you would like to discuss any issues not addressed below:
Should I disclose my age to an employer?
This is a personal choice which has both advantages and disadvantages. Some employers may ask for age within their equality monitoring forms but these should not be involved in the selection process. You do not legally need to provide your age on a CV or application form. Some employers may find it irrelevant as long as you have the right skills for the job. On the contrary it can be argued that an employer can work this out based on experience and education dates therefore this could be a good opportunity to highlight the additional skills gained from a mature perspective.
What are my rights if I feel discriminated against during the recruitment process?
Age discrimination means making a decision about people based on their age. This includes assuming somebody is too old or too young to do a job, or excluding people because of their age. Age as a selection criterion for recruitment, training, promotion or pay became illegal on 1st October 2006. This outlaws practices such as age limits specified in recruitment advertising (unless there is a genuine occupational requirement) or age-related questions at interviews.
The following sites carry further information on this legislation:
- Age and Employment – factsheet from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/dvsequl/agedisc/ageandemp.htm
Age and the Workplace – a guide for individuals on the Age Discrimination Regulations from ACAS www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/2/5/Age_the_workplace.pdf
Do graduate training schemes specify age requirements?
Whilst graduate training schemes are not specifically mentioned in the equality act these employers are still expected to follow the legislation and many large graduate recruiters are making a conscious effort to attract mature graduates. On occasion job roles will specify an age requirement but this should be linked to the requirements of the job itself e.g. 18 to work behind a bar.
The following frequently asked questions cover some concerns relating to LGBT and careers. However we understand that career concerns are individual to your personal situation and for that reason please book a careers guidance appointment if you would like to discuss any issues not addressed below:
Should I disclose my sexuality?
You are not legally required to disclose your circumstances to an employer. You may be asked as part of an equal opportunities monitoring form but this should not be included in the recruitment process. This is usually not relevant to the application process but there may be times when it becomes relevant to the role e.g. If you were an active member of the LGBT society and want to showcase the skills demonstrated.
Do I need to disclose my sexuality?
Similar to the application stage you do not need to disclose this but may choose to if relevant to the post. However you should never be asked directly or indirectly about your sexual prefence. Seek advice from services like ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) if this happens.
When is the right time to disclose transgender status?
You are not legally required to disclose your circumstances to an employer. This is a personal choice and will be dependent on your individual situation. For further information please speak to your careers adviser or see the following link https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/equality-and-diversity/324261-transsexual-and-transgender-issues-diversity-matters.
How do I identify LGBT-friendly employers?
Equality within employment is a right according to law so no employers should be out of reach. However The Starting Out Careers Guide is Stonewall’s flagship careers is a useful guide for graduates and job-seekers, featuring insightful articles around being LGBT in the workplace in the UK and beyond in addition to showcasing and listing LGBT-friendly employers, http://www.stonewall.org.uk/. Remember that just because a company isn’t on Stonewalls list does not mean that they aren’t LGBT friendly. For example many small organizations will be LGBT friendly but may not be aware of specific lists.
What are my rights if I feel discriminated against?
The main law relating to sexual orientation discrimination is the Equality Act 2010. This provides the right to not be directly or indirectly discriminated against. For further information on your rights around sexual orientation issues please see this link https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/equality-and-diversity/324237-sexual-orientation-diversity-matters.
The following frequently asked questions cover some concerns relating to race and careers. However we understand that career concerns are individual to your personal situation and for that reason please book a careers guidance appointment if you would like to discuss any issues not addressed below:
Do I need to disclose my race in an application?
You’re not required by law to disclose your ethnic background at the application or interview stage therefore this is a personal choice. You may want to consider if this is relevant to the application process e.g. involvement in a particular society or religious activity could demonstrate relevant experience and skills to an employer. Additionally if you speak other languages be sure to include this within your application as it may give you a significant advantage.
How do I find race friendly employers?
Equality within employment is a right and therefore all employers should be open to you regardless of race. However many graduate recruiters are now introducing specific schemes for students to encourage applicants from all ethnic backgrounds. Speak to the Careers and Employability team for further information on current diversity schemes, training and fairs.
How do I find race friendly employers?
The Equality Act 2010 includes protection against discrimination on race/ethnicity and religion or belief. For further information on race discrimination and employability please see the following link; https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/equality-and-diversity/320069-race-diversity-matters.