National statistics highlight an employment gap between disabled and non-disabled graduates. This employment gap varies between different higher education institutions (HEIs), and for disabled people with different impairments.
Improving employment outcomes for disabled graduates requires reflection across organisations as to how current practices potentially disadvantage disabled people, and how these practices can be changed. University careers services, in particular, can play a key role in supporting disabled students and graduates into employment.
This guidance provides information on how university careers services can support disabled students and graduates into employment, including information on:
- The social model of disability, reasonable adjustments, and their application to employment
- The range of information, advice and guidance that disabled students recommend to support them into employment
- The different ways of providing information, advice and guidance so that it is accessible to disabled students and graduates
- Tools to improve outreach and promotion so that disabled students are aware of the services that careers services provide
- Recommendations on how careers services staff can develop their understanding of disability issues so that the information, advice and guidance they provide is accurate and relevant
- The wider role that universities and careers services can play in providing and facilitating work opportunities to disabled students and graduates.
The guidance responds to recommendations from disabled students and graduates, disability organisations and other sector agencies. Disabled students and graduates identified career services that met the requirements of disabled students; examples of practice from these has been provided throughout.
Supporting disabled students’ transitions from higher education into employment is a research report undertaken by ECU, supported by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.