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) with the information team
  • Practice interviews
  • CV/application review appointments (term-time only)
  • A regular termly workshop 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 use our e-guidance service by sending a query 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. 

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.

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


We remain open but are working remotely. You can still book appointments, and these will be delivered via Zoom; you will receive the link in your appointment confirmation. If you would like to include another person in the meeting, or prefer an alternative way of holding the appointment, please contact us at to arrange this.

You can also send questions in via Handshake. Our Careers issues during Covid-19 page is updated regularly - if you have a question you would like us to include on that page, please let us know.


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. ‌

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, and MyPlus Students Club information on Requesting Adjustments in the recruitment process.

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 webinar for more information (note this is from 2016).

Requesting adjustments and support

There is no obligation to tell an employer about your disability - whether and how to do this is your decision, but you will need to do so if you want the employer to make recruitment or workplace adjustments. You may want to think about the pros and cons and implications:

  • If you would like to discuss how and when to talk about your disability with an employer, book a careers advice appointment through Handshake to talk with one of our careers consultants.
  • There is a helpful section on equality issues and your graduate job hunt on the Targetjobs website.
  • Your rights at work presentation 2020 (19 minutes)
  • For further information about disclosing, see Disability Rights UK.

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, Jan 2012)

Useful links

Recruitment and support


  • 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. The 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.)
  • 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

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

Word Press icon Facebook icon Twitter icon 

View our other social media