Accessibility statement

Careers support for students with disabilities

Careers and Placements

COVID-19  We are still open for you, please see the section below on Accessing our services

Graduation to Employment course for autistic students, spring term 2021: Graduation to Employment 2021 (PDF , 4,020kb)

What we offer

We are here to support you during your time at York with your career planning and skills development.  We offer:

  • Careers advice appointments with a careers consultant
  • Careers drop-in (term-time only) and First Steps appointments with the information team
  • Practice interviews
  • CV/application reviews (via Handshake)
  • Workshops on your rights at work (and during the recruitment process)

Find out more about appointments and how to book a time to talk to us.  You can also send questions to the Careers Information Team in Handshake.

We also have:

Find out more about what we offer.

Find out more about disability support at the University of York.

Accessing our services

Careers and Placements is located in a single storey building near the centre of Campus West, next to the central car park, with an accessible main entrance. We aim to ensure that all students have access to the resources, services and events on offer. 

You can book appointments via Handshake, and can choose whether you prefer a face-to-face or online appointment. Where appropriate, you are welcome to invite your support worker to a careers appointment, and can contact us in advance to book a time to suit everyone.

You can also send us a message on Handshake if you have any questions.

If you need any adjustments to help you access our services, please contact us.

Applying for jobs

Disability positive employers

Disability confident logo

Employers with a positive attitude to disability can be identified from their recruitment information and/or they may use the disability confident logo or ‘two ticks’ symbol, guaranteeing an interview to all candidates with disabilities who fulfil the minimum job requirements. Also look for a company’s equal opportunities policy, and employee support networks.‌  The GOV.UK website has a list of disability confident employers, and the Business Disability Forum lists member organisations. ‌

Find inclusive employers by looking at company websites for information about disabled staff networks, or profiles featuring employees with disabilities. Check recruitment information to see whether they offer materials in alternative formats, or invite requests for adjustments. PwC's information on applying with a disability is a good example of inclusive company information and mentions the kind of adjustments you might request from an employer.

Legislation and reasonable adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate because of a 'protected characteristic', one of which is disability.

Disability is defined as "a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". The definition is broad and covers a wide range of long-term conditions, see the advice from Disability Rights UK.

The Act covers the areas of recruitment, including applications, tests and interviews, employment, including terms and conditions, training and promotion, and issues such as redundancy, dismissal and grievances.

Employers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ which may include adjustments to the recruitment process, adjusting working hours or providing equipment to enable an employee with disabilities to do the job. See the GOV.UK website for more information, including the Access to work scheme.

MyPlus Students Club has information on Requesting Adjustments in the recruitment process. See also the Requesting adjustments section below.

Insight schemes and work experience

Some organisations run insight events and placements - these tend to be in areas such as the Civil Service, law and finance.

Civil Service: Early Diversity Programme (one week, Easter), Summer Diversity Internship Programme (two months) - apply for these schemes early autumn for the following year.

Commercial law: Explore the Law -  Insight event for people with a disability or long term health condition considering a career in commercial law (next event 3 December 2020).

Lawyers with Disabilities Division offers a work experience placement (apply by end April for a one- or two-week summer work placement), and a 10 week internship with the British Council (not available in 2021 due to Covid-19).

Investment banking: Investing in Talent aims to give undergraduates with disabilities and long term health conditions an insight into investment banking careers (next event 27 October 2021). 

BBC Extend Hub: new talent recruitment portal for all applicants with a declared disability. Other TV companies, such as Channel 4 and GMTV also offer work placement and employment opportunities. 

EmployAbility works with organisations to offer work experience and graduate jobs to candidates with disabilities; check vacancies advertised through Handshake.

Change100 offer summer internships with leading employers (also advertised in Handshake); apply September to January for the following summer, see their video for more information.

Requesting adjustments and support

There is no obligation to tell an employer about your disability - whether and how to do this is your decision.

You will need to tell an employer if you want them to make recruitment or workplace adjustments. An employer does not need to know your diagnosis or prognosis; they do not need to see any medical information. They just need enough information to identify potential difficulties and make appropriate adjustments. You are not being treated more favourably than other candidates; adjustments make recruitment fair and accessible for all candidates and mean you can compete on equal terms with others.

You may want to think about the pros and cons and implications:

Examples of recruitment adjustments might be:

  • requesting interview questions in advance (or in writing at the interview)
  • extra time for tests or selection activities
  • if tests are text heavy, you might ask for changes to the format of the text, or text to speech software
  • letting an employer know about any difficulties with cognitive processing, so that they can take this in to account when talking with you - for situational judgement tests or interviews, you might ask for questions in advance, or for the context to be clearly explained (for example "This question is to see how you approach prioritising different tasks").

Your skills

When you apply for jobs, you will need to evidence your skills. In addition to skills gained from your course and any other activities, you may have developed particular skills in managing your disability, for example:  

  • Management experience – managing support workers and/or carers
  • Negotiation skills - with University staff administering Disabled Students' Allowances
  • Flexibility, creativity and problem-solving – finding alternative ways of doing things
  • Empathy – bringing a broader business perspective
  • Budgeting – managing own support needs within budget constraints
  • Organisation and communication - having a personal assistant
  • Tenacity – in dealing with complex challenges

(AGCAS Disability Task Group, January 2012)

Useful links

Recruitment and support

Information

  • The GOV.UK website has information on looking for work and a section specifically for young people
  • The government funded Access to Work scheme provides advice, as well as practical and financial support to disabled people and their employers, for example to make the work environment accessible and to provide you with support. It can fund a BSL interpreter for D/deaf candidates at interview. The Access to Work fund is not available for unpaid work/volunteering. Note – do not presume an employer will know about the Access to Work scheme. You can find out more about Access to work on the Disability Rights UK website.
  • List of Disability Confident employers (Government voluntary scheme to enable employers to recruit and retain people with disabilities and long-term health conditions; replaces the old "two ticks" scheme)
  • The role of a workplace Personal Assistant

If you are 24 or under and qualify for Universal Credit you could apply for a paid 6-month placement through the Kickstart Scheme. This Government-funded scheme helps young people get paid work experience. We are advertising some Kickstart roles on Handshake, but there are many more available nationwide.

Not sure if you can apply for Universal Credit or not sure you want to?

If you have finished university and you are unemployed you could be eligible. Even if you’ve moved back in with your parents or guardians you could still apply; Universal Credit is not based on what other people in your household earn. For more information about applying for Universal Credit as a recent graduate, read the advice from Save the Student.

Recruitment

  • EmployAbility is the not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping students and graduates with all disabilities into employment. They can help you find internships or permanent roles at a wide range of blue-chip employers including leading investment banks, law firms, plus many others - including the NHS and Google. Register with them to access advice and support, or check their events and webinars. They also have a number of videos about the recruitment process, including one on adjustments in the context of Covid-19.
  • Evenbreak, a not-for-profit social enterprise, seeks to match employers with talented disabled candidates; Evenbreak's Career hive offers career support from careers professionals with lived experience of disability.
  • Exceptional Individuals works with employers and candidates to encourage employers to hire people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism.
  • Patchwork Hub is an accessible remote working employment platform where you can connect with tasks, projects or permanent employment, outside of the conventional office 9-5
  • Astriid also aims to connect people with a long-term/chronic condition with volunteering and employment.

Support

  • Doing Careers Differently written by and for people with a disability or health condition on how to make a success of your career. It is available to download from the Disability Rights UK website.
  • MyPlus Students' Club has a recruitment section with advice on applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and managing your disability; information on organisations, and profiles of individuals at various stages of their careers, working in different sectors. They also offer regular webinars for students on employability skills and applying for jobs. (You may want to create an account to access more resources on this website.)
  • AbilityNet supports digital accessibility, and can advise on technology and adaptations for education and the workplace
  • Business Disability Forum is an employers’ organisation, which shares expertise, advice, training and networking opportunities, and seeks to promote best practice in recruitment and employment. They publish a range of useful factsheets and guides for managers about disability issues in the workplace. 
  • City Disabilities offer support and mentoring to students and graduates who want to build a career in the City of London.
  • Disabled Entrepreneurs offer business support to disabled people across the UK.
  • BASE organisation offering supported employment
  • Scope has lots of information related to employment and a Support to work service.
  • YUSU Disabled Students Network represents disabled students at the University of York. Contact YUSU's Disabled Students Officers for more information.

Specific conditions

  • The National Autistic Society offers support with looking for work and applications, including a free online training module on Finding Employment (scroll down the page to find the free courses). They also have helpful information for employers. 
  • Reference books by Barbara Bissonnette in the Careers information room: The Complete Guide to Getting a Job for People with Asperger's Syndrome, and Asperger's Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide.
  • Enna seeks to help autistic adults find jobs with inclusive employers.
  • Blind in Business helps visually impaired people with finding work, the interview process and obtaining equipment to help you succeed, and run events and workshops (London based)
  • RNIB provides employment support for blind and partially sighted people.
  • RNID has accessibility guidance, including work, for D/deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.

Blogs and articles

Agcas blog for students and graduates with disabilities

Disability Horizons: A 21st century view of disability has an employment section, (as well as blogs, articles and personal stories). 

MyPlus Students Club stories and blogs

Life of Pippa blog (UoY graduate) Tips for job hunting as a disabled graduate

Ableism in Academia (Twitter) - disability and ableism in academia

Focussing on strengths and working with dyslexia - blog by Sam Shires, Management consultant with Accenture.

Contact us

Careers and Placements
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm (Undergraduate term time)
Telephone: 01904 322685
Email: message the Careers Information Team via Handshake

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