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Finding disability-friendly employers

By Manpreet Dhesi, on 30 June 2015

This article originally appeared on the Reach blog.

Researching employers is a great way to help find out which company would be a good fit for you. Targeted research can reveal employers’ attitudes and their corporate social responsibility aims, helping you to find a supportive environment.

Employer directories and reviews

There are a few employer rating sites around that can help inform you about the company culture.

TARGETjobs’ Inside Buzz covers a limited number of employers but each has a rating based on answers to “How would you describe your firm’s commitment to diversity?”

Glassdoor and The JobCrowd are other such sites. These don’t have a specific rating for diversity information but sometimes equal opportunities issues are discussed in the reviews themselves.

Disability-specific resources

One of the Reach blog’s sponsors, EmployAbility, has worked with many leading blue-chip and public sector organisations, and matches talented students and graduates to these prestigious disability-inclusive employers.

Great with disability has detailed information on how its listed employers approach disability along with case studies from disabled employees.

Business Disability Forum’s list of disability-smart organisations can be downloaded from their website.

Even Break advertises vacancies from employers who value diversity and are serious about looking beyond candidates’ impairments to identify what skills they have to offer.

The employers’ own content

A clear way to see if an employer is disability friendly is if they use the “two ticks” symbol on their website and other materials to show they’re “positive about disabled people”. To get permission to use the symbol the employer needs to fulfill five commitments including guaranteeing an interview for any disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria for the job.

Employers who are positive about mental health may also participate in the Mindful Employer charter. This isn’t accredited like the “two ticks” symbol so employers may claim more than they can prove, but it is a pledge showing commitment to being positive about mental health so is useful in showing commitment to working towards best practice for their disabled employees.

Websites, recruitment publications, and annual reports can also tell you a lot about employer attitudes. When doing your research, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do they have specific information on diversity / disabilities in their recruitment information online?
  • Do they include any disabled staff in their employee profiles?
  • What do they say about diversity and inclusion?
  • Do they have a named contact in their HR Department for queries around disabilities / disclosure?
  • Are there networking groups for disabled staff?
  • What kind of language do they use when writing about disability?

Sometimes the messages can be subtle but it all adds up to creating an image of the employer. Being able to speak to individuals you find through employee profiles or named HR contacts will give you an even clearer picture.

Further Reading

The “Disability and Mental Health: Diversity Matters” section of the TARGETjobs website provides further useful tips on this topic…

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