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Supporting disabled students

Finding work

Finding work when you have a disability can seem like a daunting prospect. From wondering how employers will react, to knowing what adjustments to ask for during the application and interview stage, it can all add to what can already be quite a stressful experience.

However, things need not be as daunting as you think. The law is there to protect your rights and there are lots of other organisations that support you and businesses to ensure that you are able to access work opportunities as easily as everyone.

Most employers have a policy and are positive about recruiting and retaining people with a disability. Some employers make this clear by signing up to schemes such as the Disability Confident employer scheme,  the Business Disability Forum and Mindful Employer's Charter for employers who are positive about mental health. Just because employers are not signed up to these schemes doesn’t mean they are not positive in supporting disabled applicants or employees.

Additionally, there are a few things you can do in your research to see how helpful the employer might be:

  • See if they have the disability confident symbol to show they encourage applications from disabled people
  • Check if the job advert affirms that they are an equal opportunities employer
  • Look at their equal opportunities policy on their website
  • Check if they offer application forms in different formats or mention adjustments for applicants, with disabilities, on their website or in the job advert. 

Specific job websites

There are a number of websites that specifically promote opportunities for people with a disability including:

These websites promote specific opportunities but this should not put you off using other sites such as the ones found on our Job Websites page:

Once you have applied for a job you need to decide whether you will be open about your disability and, if so, at what stage you will be ready. If you are ready you will be able to discuss any adjustments you might need to enable you to perform to your full potential during recruitment and if you are appointed to the role. 

The University of Leeds has a range of support and information for students with disabilities which you can find on the following websites:

DSAS website
Student Advice Centre

We have also put together a page of other useful websites to give advice on specific disabilities or for more general support. 

There can be a lot of misconception about disability and the positive nature of support. You should consider seeking support if you feel a long-term health condition is preventing you from reaching your full potential.