Careers support for students with disabilities

Careers and Placements

Graduation to Employment: a series of workshops in spring term for students with autism to help you with the transition from university to work. Graduation to Employment spring 2019 (PDF , 541kb)

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 disclosing a disability

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 us a query in Careers Gateway.

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.

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. Reasonable adjustments should also be made to the recruitment process if required, see MyPlus Students Club article on Requesting Adjustments.

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 27 November 2019).

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

Investment banking: Investing in Talent aims to give undergraduates with disabilities and long term health conditions an insight into investment banking careers (next event 25 October 2019). 

BBC Extend Hub: new talent recruitment portal for all applicants with a declared disability and Access Services providing assistance to candidates and employees.  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 Careers Gateway.

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

Disclosing your disability

There is no obligation to disclose a disability - whether and how to do this is your decision, but you will need to disclose if you want the employer to make reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process or when you are at work.  You may want to think about the pros and cons and implications:

  • If you would like to discuss how and when to disclose your disability, book a careers advice appointment through Careers Gateway to talk with one of our careers consultants.
  • There is a helpful section on disclosure on the Targetjobs website.
  • We run a termly workshop on disclosing your disability (advertised on our events page and in Careers Gateway)
  • 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

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. 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

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. 
  • Evenbreak, a not-for-profit social enterprise, seeks to match employers with talented disabled candidates; the site also has useful articles and hosts webinars to help with your job search
  • Exceptional Individuals works with employers and candidates to encourage employers to hire people with dyslexia.

Support

  • Disability Rights UK Leadership Academy for those in work
  • 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. (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.
  • 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 Officer for more information.

Specific conditions

  • The National Autistic Society offers support with looking for work and applications.
  • The Bissonnette employment profile for people with ASCs is a form you can download and use to think about your skills and interests, and your ideal work environment.
  • See also the 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.
  • 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.
  • Action on Hearing Loss has accessibility guidance, including work, for D/deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.
  • Changing Faces has case studies and advice for employees and employers about facial disfigurement.

 

Blogs and articles

Guardian Diversity hub for articles on diversity issues and employment. Articles include:

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

PhDisabled: what it's like doing academia with disability and chronic illness; a space for disabled researchers to share their experiences

Chronically Academic: network of academics with disabilities and chronic conditions

Case studies 

MyPlus Students Club case studies

Living with dyslexia

Contact us

Careers and Placements
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm (Undergraduate term time)
Telephone: 01904 322685
Email: via Careers Gateway

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