Disabilities and employment
A disability doesn’t mean that you can’t get onto the career ladder.
Most people find it difficult to decide whether to go to college, get an apprenticeship or successfully apply for their first job. Young people with disabilities are no exception! But don't be put off; there are lots of choices and opportunities to suit you.
If you have a disability and you're looking for a job, explain the situation to your advisor at your local job club or drop-in or your Job Centre Adviser. If you are still at school or college ask the careers advisor based there. They can tell you what you have to say to a potential employer, and may be able to put you in touch with schemes and support you weren’t aware existed.
By law, employers cannot discriminate against people with disabilities when recruiting for jobs. In fact, under most circumstances, employers have a legal obligation to make jobs available to people with disabilities.
There are some exceptions, though, so get advice so you know your rights. Remploy can offer help, advice and information on your rights and on any jobs that are allowed to exclude people with disabilities.
Making an application
For most jobs, your disability should not be a deciding factor for a potential employer. But you should be well prepared when getting your application ready so you not only can provide them with all the relevant information but also you know whether the job would suit you and be appropriate for your needs.
- Ask for a full job description and ask questions if you have any uncertainties
- Be honest about any special requirements you have if you are invited for an interview
- Stress your qualifications, experience, training, skills
- Answer questions honestly
- At interviews, tell the interviewer about any assistance or adaptations you require to do the job
- Be positive and make suggestions about how they can adapt.
- Apologise for your disability
- Discuss your disability except in relation to the job, unless you think it will help you in the interview
- Expect your potential employers to know everything about how to support you
- Blame your disability if you are unsuccessful – many, many applicants are turned down for lots of different reasons.
If you are unsuccessful, take the opportunity to learn from the experience.
- Phone the employer and ask for feedback on how the interview went
- Get advice on how to improve your CV or interview skills.
Remember that most young people apply to lots of jobs before they find the right one for them.
Access to Work - practical help at work
You can download the factsheet on Access to Work the Centre for Mental Health website.
Find out more…
- Find your local Job Club or drop-in for information, advice and guidance about careers, choices, study, jobs and education
- The Disabilty Rights website offers support and advice for disabled students - check out their publications page for useful info.
- OUCH: a BBC site for, by and about people with disabilities
- Mencap: for people with learning difficulties and disabilities
- Eatwells Cafe offers supported training placements for those with Learning Disabilities, find out more on their website
- Disability Living Foundation is a national charity that provides impartial advice, information and training on daily living aids.
Note: We are not responsible for the content of other websites.