Disability and mental health

The Equality Act 2010 protects those with a physical or mental health disability against discrimination when applying for jobs and less favourable treatment when in employment. Employers also have a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' to reduce or remove obstacles disabled people may face in the workplace and employers need to ensure that disabled employees are able to carry out their duties without being disadvantaged compared to others.

Upcoming events and vacancies

Find out about our online workshops for students and graduates with disabilities/mental health conditions and regular updates on organisations with vacancies and events.


We understand that disclosing, or deciding whether or not to disclose a disability or health concern to an employer can be hard. It's an individual decision and you will need to weigh up the pros and cons carefully. For example, you may not want to discuss your issues with a stranger but if you do disclose you may feel better knowing you have been open from the start. Remember that if you do decide to disclose, you will be protected against discrimination or unfair treatment by the Equality Act 2010. Under this act, employers also have an obligation to make 'reasonable adjustments' to the workplace to meet your needs.

If you choose to disclose, you then need to decide when in the application process this disclosure will happen. You may choose to disclose from the outset when making an application, disclose face to face at the interview stage or wait until you have been offered the position. Again there are pros and cons to each. If your disability or health concern meant that you had to take time out of your studies or were granted mitigating circumstances it may be best to tackle this head on when making an application. If you will need adjustments to be made in order to take part in any interview or assessment centre you will need to tell the employer prior to the date. Examples of adjustments that employers can make include extra time to complete tests and more easily accessible interview venues.

Whichever stage you decide to disclose, the most important thing is to be positive. Instead of pointing out the negative effects its had on you, focus on what you've learnt and how you've coped.

Finding disability friendly employers

Graduate Employers

Many graduate employers demonstrate their commitment to employing disabled graduates by displaying the Disability Confident symbol on their websites and marketing material. By using this symbol on job adverts employers are stating that they encourage applications from those with disabilities, and commit to interviewing all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria of the job vacancy:

The following contain searchable lists of employers who actively recruit disabled candidates:

Internships, Work Experience and Mentoring

The Careers Service offers a series of Summer Experience Internships for pre-final year students:

We also run a Work Experience Bursary scheme to offer you financial support with work experience opportunities. If you have found it hard to get paid work experience or need a little more support this scheme could be your way to access the opportunity:

In addition there are a number of programs, insight days and internships that have been designed exclusively to help disabled students gain experience and find out more about the working world. If you are interested in gaining experience with a particular organisation use their website to find out about any specific disability related programmes they may run. You may also want to look at the following resources.

  • EmployAbility Lists events, internships, graduate roles and scholarships open to those with disabilities.
  • BBC Extend Programme BBC wide scheme offering appropriately qualified disabled people the opportunity to gain a 6 month paid placement.
  • Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship 6-9 week paid placements to develop skills and abilities for Fast Stream entry.
  • Channel 4 Paras Production Training Scheme 12 month paid opportunity with an independent production company.
  • Change 100 The Leonard Cheshire Disability charity runs this internship scheme aiming to bring together top UK employers with disabled students.
  • City Disabilities Mentoring opportunities in London, focusing on jobs in the City.
  • Ambitious about Autism A work experience programme for autistic young people aged 16-25. The programme offers access to paid opportunities throughout the year in leading organisations and companies.
  • Blind in Business Advice, support and training on recruitment and workplace issues for anyone with a visual impairment.