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Looking for work if you have a disability

Looking for work if you have a disability

Looking for work if you have a disability

While it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability, we know that it still happens. So how can you give yourself the best possible chance of getting the job you want?

Look for ‘disability confident’ employers

Look out for job adverts and application forms that feature the ‘disability confident’ symbol. This means that the employer is committed to employing disabled people, and that you are guaranteed an interview providing that you meet the basic conditions for the role.

Visit the local Jobcentre

Staff at your local Jobcentre may be able to help you find disability friendly employers in your area. They may also be able to assist you in filling out application forms if that proves difficult. In addition, Jobcentre employees may offer to refer you to a specialist work psychologist or carry out an employment assessment to find out what sort of roles you’re interested in and are able to do. Ask to speak to a disability employment adviser (DEA) or work coach.

Find out what support is available

Training programmes and grants may be available to help you find an appropriate position. Government support may include:

  • Work Choice, which can help you develop new skills, build self-confidence and prepare for interviews
  • Access to Work, which may provide funding for a support worker if you need one, or for specialist equipment to assist in your role, or for help in commuting to work.
  • Specialist Employability Support, which can provide intensive support and training for up to six months (Start Back Provision) or twelve months (Main Provision) depending on your needs, either to prepare you for employment or self-employment.

Applying for jobs

If you need support in applying for jobs or attending job interviews, ask your Jobcentre for advice. It may be that you need someone there with you on the day to help you communicate, or perhaps you need to ensure that there is wheelchair access, or that tests are available in braille or large print.

An employer should not ask direct questions about your health or disability before offering you the job. There may be scenarios where they need to do so, for example if there is something you are unable to do that is an essential aspect of the role. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly after applying for a job or attending an interview, contact the Equality Advisory Support Service.

Stay positive

Some people with disabilities rule themselves out of the race before they even apply, but very few people are unemployable. You most likely have a broad range of skills and plenty of experience to offer, so keep an open mind, commit to applying each week and prepare as well as you can for interviews. Your disability doesn’t have to define you, so don’t let it destroy your hopes of finding your dream job!