How to get a job with a disability – some helpful tips and tricks
How to get a job with a disability – some helpful tips and tricks from Cascade
More often than not, people living with a disability are made to feel isolated from larger society, and that they can’t or shouldn’t work because of their disability.
However, there is lots of evidence to suggest that having a meaningful occupation improves both a person’s mental and physical health, alongside being invaluable as a learning tool to develop greater independence and a sense of responsibility.
At Cascade, residents are often at risk of being isolated from their local communities and the wider society due to misconceptions around people with autism, learning difficulties or mental health issues. Moreover, the team at Cascade knows only too well how joining the workplace can improve their residents’ lives for the better.
In fact - according to research by the National Autistic Society, whilst only 32% of people with Autism are in any form of paid employment, 77% of unemployed autistic people said that they wished to be in paid employment.
“Everyone deserves to live their lives in a way that they want to, as long as they are safe and not putting themselves at risk.” Simone Garland, Community, Social Inclusion Lead and Mental Health Nurse at Cascade, quotes.
“Awareness needs to be raised amongst employers to look past someone’s disability and see the unique individual with their own strengths and abilities.
“Finding meaningful occupations, whether through paid employment, voluntary or work experience, is important for a person’s mental wellbeing, providing a sense of purpose and inclusion.
“Through employment, a person with a disability may not only see improvements in their mental health, but also physical health outcomes, as meaningful occupations have been linked to better health choices.”
Ingrained in the Cascade ethos is a dedicated team of people who look at each individual in terms of what community activities they would like to participate in or to help them to find and maintain voluntary work in the local area.
Community and Social Inclusion at Cascade is built on recommendations from NICE – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and government guidance to promote community engagement with the view to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.
To help people with a disability on the road to getting a job, the team at Cascade has put together some useful tips and tricks:
1. Contact the employer prior to the interview to let them know if you need any specific requirements. This will demonstrate you are experienced in planning and thinking ahead. For example:
- Do you need to check access to the building?
- Will you have someone with you for support?
- Would you need a later interview time to ensure you have enough time to travel there?
2. View your disability as one of your strengths. There’s no one in the world like you, you’re not just your disability, although it is part of you! If your Autism means you like things organised and tidy, why not use this as one of your strengths?
3. Know your rights – there are lots of legislations and regulations that protect your rights to have employment. Just a few include: The Equality Act 2010, Human Rights (protected characteristics), The Autism Act 2009.
4. Prepare for your interview. Get a friend to practice some common interview questions with you to get a feel for what your interview might be like. If you get anxious in new environments, you might like to write some answers such as what you think your strengths are, your previous experiences, any barriers you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them.
5. Think of reasonable adjustments you might need from the employer, and have these written down so you remember to ask them. Examples would include:
- Are the toilets accessible for you?
- If the environment is busy can you use headphones to reduce the noise?
- Will you always have the same desk/ work space that you can have as you need it?