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University is an education in the broadest sense. Our University section will enable you to make the most of your time at University and take advantage of all of the opportunities available to you.
Making the most of your time at University
In this section you can find all the advice and guidance you need as you apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.
In the Recruitment section there is a wealth of information about completing applications forms, online tests, and the various stages in the recruitment. Whilst the Disability section provides advice on how to manage your disability during the recruitment process including information on how to inform an employer of what you require and referring to your disability during an interview.
Managing Your Disability
The Organisations section is where you can find out about various organisations, the opportunities they offer and their individual approach to disability.
Profiles / Stories
It’s always great to hear from those who have been successful.
This section profiles many individuals, working across different industries, at various stages of their careers. Their interviews demonstrate that is possible to have a successful career regardless of whether or not you have a disability. They also illustrate the adjustments that can be made in the workplace.
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By Helen Cooke, disability consultant and director of MyPlus Students' Club.
If you have a disability or long term health condition, you may require an adjustment in the workplace to enable you to do your job efficiently and effectively. You may have already have had adjustments during the recruitment process or you may choose request them only once you have started in your role. Either way it is imperative to ask for what you need.
Intelligent organisations implement adjustments simply because it is good business sense. However, they also have a legal duty to do so.
The Equalities Act 2010 states: "Employers have to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that a disabled employee was not treated less favourably than their non-disabled counterpart."
The purpose of implementing an adjustment is to ensure that you are able to perform to the best of your ability. This is applies to whether an adjustment is made during the recruitment process or in the workplace itself.
Adjustments are also made for you once you are in the workplace to ensure that you can perform the role, as well as to demonstrate and fulfil your potential.
During the recruitment process, an adjustment provides a level playing field and enables you to be assessed on an equal basis to your peers.
The term 'disability' is very broad and therefore the different types of adjustments required are hugely varied. Some adjustments are very simple to implement and have little or no cost associated with them. Others are more complex and may require substantial financial support or additional resources.
Adjustments may also vary depending on the different situations. You may require something different during the interview process in comparison to when you join the organisation. Equally, your needs may change over time and with it the corresponding support and adjustments.
The types of adjustments that you may require are:
The type of adjustment required is dependant on each individual's unique needs.
Organising for adjustments to be made during the recruitment process is a 2-way process involving clear communication between the employer and the applicant. The more open, honest and timely the communication, the more efficient the implementation process will be.
To ensure that the adjustment is implemented efficiently, your responsibilities include:
To implement your adjustments effectively, the organisation's responsibilities include:
It is understandable that some employers may feel uncomfortable talking to you about your disability and associated needs as this is potentially very personal and sensitive information. By engaging in open dialogue with the employer, you can help them to have these essential conversations more easily. You can help them to better understand what you require and why. One way of approaching this is to explain the consequences of not receiving the support or adjustments that you require.
It is important to ensure that you have the adjustments and support in place; failure to do so may mean you end up finding each day a struggle.
In some cases the adjustments you had during the recruitment process can be used as a basis for what you need in the work place. If not you will need to initiate a conversation about what you require.
As with the requesting support and adjustments for the recruitment process, it is a two way process involving both you and your new employer. Open and honest conversations are required to establish how you can best fulfil your role.
To ensure that you get what you need to enable you to do your role, you will need to:
To ensure that your adjustment is implemented efficiently your employer must:
The more information you provide to your employer, the easier the process of providing support and adjustments will be.
It is likely that your condition will change over time, and consequently your support needs. It is important that you continue to be open and honest about what you require and to engage in the relevant discussions to fulfil your role.
You may require advice from others such as occupational health professionals or organisations who specialise in advising and assessing workplace adjustments. Be confident in asking for support to help you work out what you require.
If your condition is changing don't wait until your work, or indeed your health, suffers before you ask for help.
Some adjustments can be made very easily and have no cost associated. Others are more complex and can become very expensive.
There is external funding available from Access to Work (AtW); this is government funding covering the additional costs of employing disabled people.
Costs should rarely, if ever, be a barrier to accessing what you need in the workplace.
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