Life throws many different challenges at people with disabilities, and one of the biggest areas of concern is that of employment and education.
Disabled people are almost twice as likely to have no qualifications as people without disabilities. Almost a fifth of the UK’s working population are registered as disabled, yet disabled people make up just 8% of those in further education. Opportunities are available however, and many schools, colleges and universities have the support in place.
Likewise, nearly half of all disabled people are unemployed in Britain, compared to 20% of non-disabled people. Many are capable of working, but lack the confidence to act on it. Many people fear that employers will automatically discriminate against them because of their disability. However, the law does protect you here – the Disability Discrimination Act came into force in October 2010 to protect the rights of disabled people in employment. Find out more about your rights here.
If you are right for the job, legally, employers have to make adaptations to accommodate your needs. Don’t let your disability hold you back – focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. You could be an asset to any employer or educational establishment.
Every issue of Enable features a section on employment and education, giving you information and advice as well as providing some inspirational profiles.
Below, you’ll find some links to organisations who can give you a hand up in the world of work and education.
Directgov – www.directgov.uk
Jobcentre Plus – www.jobseekers.direct.gov.uk
Equality and Human Rights Commission – www.equalityhumanrights.com
Specialist employment support
Remploy – www.remploy.co.uk
Shaw Trust – www.shawtrust.org.uk
Open University – www.open.ac.uk