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Jobs for persons with physical disabilities

This month is our Physical Disabilities Month. It’s an opportunity to consider and reflect on the current situation for the 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. According to recent data that includes 19% of working age adults and 45% of pension age adults. That breaks down to more than 3.7 million disabled people in work.

And like any employee these staff members come with their own skills, qualities and expectations. But the playing field is far from level. Recent data suggests persons with disabilities are over twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. Income inequality is also an issue.  Around 28% of working age disabled people live in poverty (28%), that’s higher than the same figure for working age non-disabled people (18%). We’re advocating for the right support for employees across the workplace spectrum, search our database for available jobs now.

Support for disabled persons in the workplace

This month we’re particularly considering steps employers can take to support staff with disabilities. And how to support the disability community to get what they need from potential employers. It’s about breaking stereotypes. Making positive change. Understanding our rights and responsibilities in a fair and just society.

There should be minimal limitations on the types of jobs persons with physical disabilities engage with. While some trades or professions may not seem traditional paths for persons with physical disabilities, the way we work is changing. Industries which have welcomed disabled staff include:

  • Law
  • Finance
  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Administration
  • Local Government
  • Human Resources

Disability stereotypes

The universal sign for disability is an image of a person in a wheelchair.  But physical disabilities are as diverse as people themselves.  There are invisible disabilities like hypermobility or chronic fatigue syndrome. Sensory disabilities include deafness and blindness. Of course, there is an entire spectrum of ability levels and capacities.  And people can even vary from day to day as to their ability levels.

Inclusion for disabled employees means much more than access ramps.  Good workplaces realise that every team member can encounter a degree of disability. Access accommodations should be offered as a matter of course. Accommodations should be determined through standards of best practice and through consultation with disabled employees. If you're ready to recruit employees who care as much about inclusion as you do, register with VERCIDA today.

Disability rights at work

Employers have responsibilities to accommodate staff with different physical needs. This has a positive impact on their business. Researchers have found that most accommodations for disabled staff are simple and low-cost.  That includes measures like scheduling flexibility or amends to dress code codes.

This flexibility is important. Where employers recruit and promote on the basis of strength and potential – rather than qualifications or experience which is not entirely necessary to the role – they will help attract and retain talented workers with disabilities. This is the backbone of the UK’s Disability Confident scheme promoting workplace equality and opportunity. VERCIDA is proud to be one of these Disability Confident organisations, and to have many others in our jobs database. Find your next employer today.

Disability Confident employers

The Disability Confident scheme is a UK Government project aimed at supporting organisations playing a leading role in changing attitudes for the better. Assessment is based on how companies and managers are changing behaviour and cultures in their own businesses. And how that spills out into their networks and communities, reaping the benefits of inclusive recruitment practices.

Ultimately, it’s about enriching the skills mix in the UK economy. It’s about access and opportunity. Employers sign up to:

  • Open their recruitment practices to the widest possible pool of talent.
  • Find skilled, loyal and hard-working staff to grow their business with.
  • Create an inclusive and positive work environment that evidences how they treat all employees fairly.

It also helps customers and other businesses identify those employers who are committed to equality in the workplace.


Physical disabilities advocacy

We’re also talking about the power of advocacy. Disability at work is incredibly sensitive. Well-meaning non-disabled employees can wind up marginalising their disabled colleagues further by making adjustments without consultation.  This is doubly true for invisible disabilities where there is little social awareness.  Good practice means supporting networks lead by disabled colleagues and taking their advice when setting policy.  It's also important to educate all employees about invisible disabilities and your company's inclusion practices.

For jobs at employers that take disability seriously, try searching through VERCIDA. We ensure that our employers take accessibility seriously.  They're winning awards for good practice and putting disabled employees at the heart of designing accessibility policies.  If you're ready to make a career move, check out inclusive employers today.

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