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Man at a deskWorking and Learning

There are a number of government and voluntary initiatives in place to support disabled people get in work or attend training session to acquire new skills. Being disabled should not restrict your job choices.

When job hunting, one of your ports of call should be your local DEA (Disability Employment Adviser). Usually they are based locally at Job Centres. DEAs are the gateway to various Government schemes to assist disabled people in or into employment, like equipment and support through Access to Work.

For a start, any adverts and application forms that display the ‘positive about disabled people’ symbol (with 2 ticks) mean you’re guaranteed an interview as long as you meet the role’s basic conditions. 


Access to Work: 

Access to Work is money from the government to help pay for practical support with work, if you are a disabled person, or have a health or mental health condition.

Access to Work might be able to help you with:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • start your own business
  • The money doesn’t have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

Access to Work is only available in England, Scotland and Wales. More information is available on the Department of Work and Pensions website here.

Training & Learning:

There a number of training courses available to you including NVQs, higher  education, vocational tasters. It’s against the law for a school or other education provider to treat disabled students unfavourably. An education provider has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure disabled students are not discriminated against. These changes could include:

  • changes to physical features - for example, creating a ramp so that students can enter a classroom
  • providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment)

Check with your local council, college or university what courses are available to you. There is no age limit to start learning! 

Disability Confident Campaign (for employers):

The Department for Work and Pensions recently launched a campaign called Disability Confident to support employers be more confident in employing disabled people and ensuring that reasonable adjustments are made. More information is available here.

Useful contacts:

  • Action on Disability and Work UK: http://www.adwuk.org. Action on Disability and Work UK champions the employment of disabled people throughout the UK. They bring employees and businesses together with advice and support to facilitate a successful pathway that works perfectly for everyone.
  • The Association of Disabled Professionals (ADP): http://www.adp.org.uk/. The ADP services include the provision of employment advice, information and/or peer support for the very many disabled people who contact our helpline and their advisers or friends. They have a 24-hour answerphone service where disabled people can seek advice and support from another disabled person. ]
  • Pluss: http://www.pluss.org.uk/. Pluss Pluss is a Social Enterprise that supports thousands of disabled people each year to achieve work and a career. Pluss also directly employs hundreds of disabled people within its own commercial enterprises.

More useful information on working with disabilities can be found on the dedicated pages from money.co.uk here

If you are based in Bristol and have questions around working or learning, please contact our disabled people's helpline on 0117 947 9922 or email disabledpeopleshelpline@wecil.co.uk