Finding Work When You Have a Disability

Having a disability can be challenging, but finding a suitable job when you have a disability can feel impossible.  However, workplaces nowadays perceive disabled workers as simply being ‘differently abled.’ There are many laws and legislations put in place that make it easier for disabled people to find work without experiencing discrimination. The Equality Act (2010) means that employers must remove all barriers in their particular workplace that make working difficult for disabled people, as well as ensure that financial support is available to for them in order to do this. 

Begin exploring your options based on what it is you want to do, then seek any advice and support you might need. Wherever you live you should be able to access careers guidance as an adult. Before applying for a job it’s important to assess your abilities. Think about the activities that you’re most capable of doing; activities that your disability won’t interfere with. It’s also a good idea to write a list of job interests based on your abilities. You’ll discover that finding a job when you have a disability is not much different for an individual without disabilities. Everyone has to find work based on their skills and abilities. Some employers offer guaranteed interviews to disabled job applicants (look for the ‘positive about disabled people’ symbol [with 2 ticks] on adverts and application forms.)  Take advantage of these interviews in order to develop good interviewing skills, even if you’re not interested in the job.

 

Although it may not be necessary to discuss your disability, it might be difficult to avoid the subject entirely. It may even be of benefit to discuss it with your employer. An employer does not have to ask you about a disability, whether or not it is obvious, but they can ask you whether you are able to perform the essential functions of the job. The employer is also allowed to ask how you would perform functions or to demonstrate how you would perform them. An interviewer who is unaware that you have special requirements to accommodate your needs might mistakenly believe that you are unable to do the job.

The most important thing to remember when looking for a job as a disabled person is to have confidence. Although it's easy to feel discouraged, especially if you feel limited by the jobs that you can do, having confidence in yourself and the abilities you have is key to appearing more employable. Understand that if you don’t get the job it may not be because of your disabilities. Sometimes it helps to contact the interviewer/employer for more information about why you didn’t get the job. This can allow you to make improvements and develop interview skills. Job searching takes a long time for everyone, so it’s important not to give up, and stay optimistic!

 

Sources

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74544000/jpg/_74544460_624_disabil...

http://newhorizonsilc.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/working.jpg

 

Edited by Georgina Varley