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Finding work that suits your life and condition

Find out how you can balance your needs as a disabled person with the demands of your working life.

Thinking about your skills

Knowing your skills can allow you to find a suitable job. You can do this by reflecting on past experiences or asking friends and family. Think about what your interests are or what you are good at. Your experience of disability may have given you skills like:

  • adapting to change
  • being organised
  • managing time efficiently
  • being good with technology
  • problem-solving

Finding a job that matches your skills

If you find a barrier to employment, think about how it could be removed. Workplace barriers can include: 

  • stairs, if you need level access
  • working long hours, if you have reduced energy levels
  • inaccessible equipment, if you need assistive technology

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people to work. Reasonable adjustments could be:

  • a ground floor office, a ramp or stair lift
  • flexible work patterns
  • adapted equipment like keyboards or voice recognition software

Reasonable adjustments at work

Employment is different for everyone. Knowing the type of work you could do and how you can manage your health is important. Flexible employment might allow you to pace yourself, meaning you can work and look after your health.

Interview about experiences of finding and staying in work

Managing financially

Maintaining an income can be hard, especially when you are disabled. Being proactive can help you manage your finances.

How to make a budget (StepChange)

If you want to increase your income, working a few hours at a time can offer flexibility. You can find flexible work on:

Permitted work on benefits

Financial support

You could be entitled to financial support such as:

Other help could include:

Flexible ways of working

Looking at different ways of working can allow you to meet your needs. This can include:

Flexible working can allow you to work depending on the time or energy you have. Working for just a few hours is still working.

Connecting with others

Getting support from other people can help you realise what’s important for your career and how you can manage your needs. You could connect with:

Looking for a job using social media

Job networking tips

Being open about your needs can allow others to support you. They might ask you what they can do to help, this could include:

  • a regular check-in to see how things are going
  • job search admin, like reading through applications

Returning to work

Take things a step at a time. You might find it helps to increase your hours slowly.

If you are going back to a previous job, you do not need to take on the same workload you had before. You could have reduced hours or lighter duties. This is sometimes called a phased return to work.

When looking for a new flexible role, organisations can help you with your job search:

  • Scope employment services
  • Astriid connects people with long-term health conditions and employers, offering flexible opportunities.
  • The Prince’s Trust supports people aged 16 to 30 to build confidence, get a job or start a business.
  • Evenbreak is an accessible job search site for disabled people.
  • Change 100 offers paid internships for disabled graduates.
  • Remploy aims to create sustainable work for disabled people.
  • Fit for Work offers advice for disabled people in employment or returning to employment.
  • Work and Health Programme helps you find and keep a job if you’re out of work.

Finding out whether a workplace is accessible

Support in work

Having support in the workplace can allow you to work flexibly and meet your needs.

Talking to your employer about disability

Reasonable adjustments can make a big difference. Ask if you need them. If you’re not sure what these might be, Access to Work grants can pay for specialist assessments, which will recommend adjustments.

Get support from Access to Work (GOV.UK)

Reasonable adjustments at work

Check how things are going

Flexible employment can change if it does not suit your needs. Evaluating this can allow you to have an open conversation with your employer about your work pattern, duties and workload.

Asking for new adjustments if your condition changes

Your health and wellbeing is the most important thing. By supporting your needs, it means you can do your job to the best of your ability.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 04/01/2021

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