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Looking for a job if you are disabled

Looking for a job if you are disabled
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Not many people are lucky enough to have their dream job offered to them on a plate. It generally takes some amount of effort to find an occupation that you love. Looking for a job if you are disabled can be even more of a challenge. Whether you’re unemployed or already in work and looking for a new job there is assistance available to help you achieve your goals.

Positive about disabled people symbol

During your search for a job, keep your eyes peeled for adverts that include the Positive About Disabled People Symbol (also referred to as the ‘two ticks’ symbol). Jobcentre Plus awards the symbol to employers who are committed to employing and developing disabled staff members. To be allowed to use the symbol, companies must make five promises regarding the recruitment, training and retention of disabled staff:

• To interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities.

• To ensure there is a mechanism in place to discuss, at any time, but at least once a year, with disabled employees what can be done to make sure they can develop and use their abilities.

• To make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment.

• To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work.

• Each year, to review the five commitments and what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans.

Disability Employment Advisers

A Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) can help you find a job or gain new skills. Working from the Jobcentre, DEAs can also carry out an employment assessment, during which you’ll be asked about your skills and experience as well as the type of work you’re interested in. If appropriate a DEA can refer you to a specialist work psychologist to help identify your strengths, establish what kind of job would suit you and find a job or training opportunity. DEAs will also give you information on employers in your area that use the two ticks symbol and offer advice on programmes and grants that are available to you.

Scheme and programmes

There are a number of schemes offered through Jobcentre Plus to help disabled people find a job and get on in it.

Work Choice

looking for work if you are disabledWork Choice is a voluntary scheme you can sign up to that helps people who are disabled and find working difficult to find, keep and progress in. The type of help you receive will be tailored to your needs and may include training, confidence building, interview coaching and development of skills.

Residential Training

If there are no local courses offered then you may be entitled to attend a residential training course. These courses offer help in finding work as well as gaining work experience and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in areas such as administration, catering and retail. To apply for a residential course you must be over 18 and unemployed.

Access to Work

Access to Work is a grant allocated to help pay for practical support while you find a job, stay in work or start up your own business. The money can be used for things like adapting equipment, support workers, fares to work if you can’t use public transport or support services. There is no set amount for the grant and how much you get will depend on your circumstances. An Access to Work grant doesn’t have to be paid back and won’t affect any other benefits you receive.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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