We all want to work somewhere where we feel included, valued and can truly thrive.
If you have a disability you may be worried about finding an employer that isn’t just able to accommodate you, but that prides itself on doing so. While the Equality Act prohibits discrimination against a person that has a disability, the truth is that not all companies are equally committed to achieving inclusivity.
That being said, there are plenty of great companies out there who are going the extra mile to create a working environment that works for all, you just need to know how to find them.
Here are five tips to help you do just that:
1. Check for mission statements and accessibility plans
The best place to find out more about an employer you are interested in and its commitment to inclusivity, is to search for their mission statement or a similar declaration of their values and priorities. You can usually find this on the ‘About us’ page on the company website. Specific mentions of diversity and inclusion are a good start and even better is an Accessibility Action Plan that details the steps the company is taking to make its workplace inclusive to all.
2. Look out for Disability Confident Badges
The UK government’s Disability Confident employer scheme encourages businesses to recruit and retain people with disabilities. Under this voluntary scheme, employers are awarded badges to show they’ve reached a certain level of commitment to making their workplaces more inclusive. This list of registered employers – over 18,000 of them! – can provide a great starting point for your job search, while you can read more about the different levels and the requirements that come with them here.
3. Use disability job sites
Job boards such as EvenBreak and Disability Jobsite specialise in advertising jobs offered by inclusive employers who are actively aiming to attract disabled candidates. Aside from providing targeted job searches, they can also offer advice on applications, interviews and wider career support.
4. Search for Business Disability Forum members
The Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit membership organisation that works with business leaders, Government and disabled people to improve business practices and Government policy around disability inclusion. The Forum provides a full list of its members online so that you can easily find which businesses are committed to creating a workplace that is accessible and supports people from all backgrounds.
5. Check out student support services
If you’re a student preparing to graduate, there are specific schemes that can support you into work. Check out your university’s disability support services or head to EmployAbility, which runs internships, student placements and graduate schemes with its inclusive employer partners.
Not all companies advertise inclusivity directly, but that doesn’t have to mean they’re not able and willing to accommodate people with a disability. If you’re passionate about a role you can always ask the employer during the interview what they’re doing to promote accessibility in their workplace. It goes without saying that if an employer is unwilling to support you in accessing a job, it’s probably not a great place to work anyway.