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In 2019, 51.7% of people with disabilities in the UK were in employment. That’s up from 50.7% a year previously. The Government’s target is to have 4.5 million people with disabilities in employment by 2027.

We’re working hard to help hit that target.

It's important to be aware that people with hidden disabilities will not all have the same areas of strength and weakness. Adjustments are often about evolving the way we collaborate together. A disability is in no way a barrier to work and persons with disabilities work across a range of industries including:

  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Retail
  • Education
  • Construction
  • IT and computing
  • Creative industries
  • Local government
  • Catering

Our database of hundreds of vacancies offers jobs with compassionate, responsible employers committed to supporting people to bring their whole selves to work. Search now.

Reasonable adjustments

One of the key ways that persons with disabilities need support in the workplace is through reasonable adjustments. These are legal rights to changes or adaptations in working processes that people with different skills and challenges require to be able to work.

Adjustments in the workplace are often small and cost-effective and there is Government funding available. The Access to Work fund can help people pay for support they need because of a disability or long term health condition. This could be equipment in the workplace or support such as a job coach, note taker or lip speaker.

Other examples of support could include:

  • Using assistive technology such as a screen-reader, scanning pen, text to speech or mind-mapping software.
  • Highlighting key points in documents.
  • Using a digital recorder to record meetings, training etc so the employee doesn't have to rely on memory or written note.
  • Supplying an anti-glare screen filter.
  • Reducing distractions for focused tasks and allocate a private workspace if possible.
  • Ensure that work areas are organised, neat, tidy and well-lit.

Help with getting a job

We know that applying for jobs can be a stressful process. And when you know you may need to declare, or disclose, medical conditions to your employer then that’s not any easier. Here’s our top advice for finding the right vacancy:

  • Think about the opportunities around you and do some research into employers that you are interested in. Companies are now more aware of the benefits of diverse workplaces than ever. Look for employers whose websites and job adverts proudly state they are an equal opportunities employer. We’re a proud advocate of the government’s Disability Confident Search our database now for jobs with companies committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Reach out to people around you. Lots of people find great work through recommendations and tips from those they know. Use your Linkedin and in-person to contacts to benefit from your community’s knowledge.

Talking to employers

It’s not only jobseekers that may be concerned about disclosing a disability. Changes to your ability to work can happen at any time, and may increase as you get older or when your life changes. We’re proud to work with top firms committed to being supportive and promoting inclusion and diversity at work. Search here for jobs we can be proud of.

If you do need to talk to your boss about a developing health problem:

  1. talk to your employer early if you’re worried that you cannot do your job now or that you might struggle in the future. You have rights to adjustments.
  2. Be aware if you feel your capabilities are changing, Monitor how your condition affects you and talk to your manager before they notice that something’s changed. If it’s your employer who notices a change then ask them to arrange a meeting to discuss what’s happening as soon as possible.
  3. Be open and honest about what you’re experiencing. You can approach your line manager, or a member of the human resources team. You’re allowed to have someone accompany you during that meeting - this could be either a friend, colleague or union representative.
  4. Ask your employer for concrete suggestions and ideas to work together to support you. Ideally you want to avoid a situation where your employer does not understand your disabilities, and instead assumes you cannot do your job.

We’re proud to be raising the case of persons with disabilities throughout August. And supporting fair and equitable access to work all year round. We are forward-thinking. We are proud. We are VERCIDA.

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