In an already competitive jobs market, it can be quite difficult for people with disabilities to secure employment, even with legislation barring employers from discrimination on grounds of disability. This infographic contains useful job-seeking advice for people with disabilities, who have plenty of expertise and knowledge to bring to any vacancies for which they apply.
NOTE: For persons with visual impairments, a transcript of the infographic can be found below the image.
Infographic Courtesy of Burning Nights
Transcript of the Infographic : Getting a Job with a Disability
Disability Employment Statistics
- Only 47.3% of adults with basic activity difficulties is employed, almost 20% lower than the employment rate of able-bodied adults.
- The employment rate of adults with a long-standing health problem or activity difficulty (LHPAD) is 38.1%, almost 30% lower than that for adults with no such limitations.
- More than 50% of unemployed adults with an LHPAD cited their illness or disability as the main reason for not seeking employment.
- Nearly 40% of unemployed adults with an LHPAD cited their illness or disability as the main reason for leaving their most recent employment. Source: Eurostat
- 15% of working adults with a disability work from home, slightly more than those (13%) with no disability.
- 26% of working adults with a disability work part-time, compared to 18% with no disability.
Jobs Which May Be Suitable for People with Disabilities
- Accountant/Financial planner: Financial institutions are among the main employers of people with disabilities, while opportunities in accountancy and financial planning are plentiful. Also, it is work that can be done from a desk at home.
- Management consultant: Many organisations now seek disabled candidates for management consultancy roles, with such candidates likely to have experience of overcoming the challenges faced by jobseekers with disabilities.
- Market research analyst: Market research analysts with disabilities can offer a sharp perspective to businesses seeking to market to customers with disabilities.
- Pharmaceutical sales: People with disabilities are frequently sought by pharmaceutical companies, with such candidates able to give an experienced insight into the products that they have used.
- Physician's assistant: Not only does this job pay remarkably well (typical salary £69,000), it offers a fantastic opportunity to work in medicine and to aid people living with disabilities.
- Career guidance counsellor: There are plenty of organisations which specialise in trying to find ideal careers for jobseekers with disabilities, and people who have faced their own challenges in this regard can offer a direct insight as a career guidance counsellor.
A job which is considered ideal for a person with disabilities will have these characteristics:
- Minimal physical demand
- Minimal travel
- Low stress
- High possibility of income growth
- Plentiful opportunities
Assessing Your Ability to Work
- Identify any skills that you possess. These can be categorised into transferrable skills (natural talents you can use in almost any job), non-transferrable skills (those you have honed with education & experience) and personal skills.
- Identify your values and lifestyle preferences. Think about the type of work that you would enjoy, as well as the working environment you would prefer (urban v rural, private v public, etc.). This will help you to establish ideal vocations.
- Use a hobby or interest to derive a profession from it. If you're adept at art, for example, you can use this to teach a class in the subject or become a private tutor.
- Make a list of activities that your disability prohibits you from doing. If you know that a job would require use of these activities, you can immediately strike that off a shortlist of potential vocations.
- Give strong consideration to jobs that will permit you to work from home, especially if it's in a field that interests or satisfies you. Flexibility with working hours is also a major plus if you are liable to feel very ill or sore at any given time.
Disclosing Your Disability to Employers
- It is often best not to disclose your disability to a prospective employer unless the situation requires, but you may wish to pre-empt any potential obstacles by informing them of specific conditions of your disability (e.g. the need for a Sign Language interpreter or wheelchair access)
- Only disclose the details of your disability if they pertain to the interview or vacancy. If you need to be accommodated in a certain way, outline why this is required.
- If you need access to a certain interview room or you need to be accommodated in a way that requires considerable setting up, it's best to notify the employer well in advance.
- It's a good idea to disclose your disability to anyone who you think could be helpful (e.g. a disability officer).
- Be specific about any details that you disclose to an employer, although don't feel that you have to disclose any details which you're uncomfortable telling them.
Job Hunting Advice
- Focus on what you can do rather than what you can't. Even if a situation is challenging, try to phrase it in a positive way, e.g. "I can get around the workplace once there are decent wheelchair ramps available"
- Show plenty of self-confidence. An employer could well see you as someone who is determined to succeed even though disability undoubtedly makes things harder for you.
- Find out as much as you can about a prospective employer. Go through their website to see if they mention anything about catering for people with disabilities, or check to see if they have been in the news for good or bad about their attitude towards disability.
- Notify an employer beforehand if you intend to bring a wheelchair, guide dog or interpreter with you to an interview. It's good to allow them to prepare for such situations.
- Act out a mock interview with a friend so that you'll gain confidence in speaking for when the interview comes around. You'll then be able to say exactly how you can perform certain duties.
- Prepare examples of how you overcame obstacles to complete tasks that were made difficult because of disability. This will prove your determination to an employer.
"Say you're required to go from Building A to Building C three or four times a day and you're sitting in a wheelchair. Explain how you will do it: 'I'll just roll my wheelchair up the ramp and do the job'." Gwen Ford, Director of Business Management and Program Services for Project HIRED.
*This person is in no way affiliated with Burning Nights.