Disability Specific Careers Events: To Attend Or Not To Attend?
By Helen Cooke, MyPlus Students’ Club Director and Founder.
Throughout October and November, there are so many careers events taking place you could attend a different one every day and evening. From careers fairs and skills sessions on campus to presentation evenings and insight days at employers’ offices – the choice is endless.
For those of you who have a disability, there is also the option of events open only to those who have a disability. In addition to informing you about your various options, they are also designed to inform you about the additional support on offer and to encourage you to be open about your disability in order to access this support. They also offer the opportunity to hear from employees who have a disability and how they manage this in the working environment.
However, disability specific events are not everyone’s cup of tea.
So how do you decide whether or not to attend?
When I was at university, disability specific careers events did not exist. Had they existed and had they simply been about the employer reassuring me that they were inclusive, I might have gone. Had they been about recruiting me through a special disability channel or on to a disability specific programme I would not have gone. I was not interested in special treatment.
What I would say is that if you are wishing to know how an employer approaches disability, how you can access their support, and have the opportunity to hear first hand how others have been supported, these events are brilliant. In addition to this, it is also another opportunity to find out about the organization, meet the recruiters and potentially get your foot in the door. It’s an opportunity your non-disabled friends will not get – so think carefully before you decide to turn it down.
- Use the event as an opportunity to find out about an employer’s approach to disability.
- Be open about your own situation; the reaction you receive may help you decide if you want to work for them or not.
- If you need support for / adjustments to the recruitment process, get the contact details of the person who is responsible for managing this.
- If you meet someone with a similar disability to yours they may be able to advise you as you enter the world of work, so ask if you can stay in touch.
Upcoming Careers Events
Take a look at some upcoming events and the university careers fairs where you can meet the MyPlus Students’ Club team.