Get the Right Support – Disabilities in Education and at Work
Thursday 3rd December, was International Persons with Disabilities day. If you do have a disability it is important to know how your workplace or college can help support, you. Getting the right support can help you perform at your best and feel like a valued member of the team.
Support at college:
Any college or learning centre have to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that anyone with a disability or learning difficulty don’t suffer a great disadvantage. They also have to make funding available to support students through the Additional Support Fund or ASF. This fund allows them to provide support to provide maximum benefit and remove any barriers to study.
Learning from home has become a necessity at the moment with more e-learning and distance learning courses that let you do all or part of your study at home. This option for study is worth considering if you have a disability that makes it difficult to get to locations.
It is against the law for an employer to not hire or discriminate a person with a disability. These covers all areas of the process from the application, interview, tests, offer and while you are employed with them. Employers also must make reasonable adjustments so that anyone with a disability is to do able to their job. This may mean having a desk to fit a wheelchair user to having software to help someone with dyslexia. An employer who is recruiting staff can make limited enquiries about someone health or disability. You can only be asked about them if:
- It is to decide if you can carry out an essential part of the role
- If you can take part in an interview
- If there needs to be reasonable adjustments to the interview for you to take part
- To help monitoring
- If they want to increase the number of disabled people, they employ
- If they need to know for the purposes of national security checks
You can also not be chosen for redundancy just because you are disabled. The selection process for redundancy must be a fair and balanced for all employees in the company. They also cannot force you to retire if you become disabled.
Access to Work Program:
Access to Work is a public funded employment support program to help more disabled people to start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support for anyone with a disability or long term physical or mental health condition. Your employer may also be responsible for some of the costs of your claim. Access to work can also give practical advice and guidance to employers, to help understand the needs of their employees and how they can support them.
You can find out how it could help or support by going to: