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Reader’s corner…

A couple of articles I spotted recently that might be of interest to our blog followers…

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The BBC carried an article back in February, Perfect storm: The agency for disabled talent which highlights VisABLE – an agency for disabled actors, presenters and models.

Safety and Health Practitioner reported from mental health charity Mind, in an article aimed at employers wanting to promote a mentally healthy workplace, How to manage severe mental health problems

Happy reading!

Alison Skellern, AGCAS Disability Task Group, De Montfort University

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Let’s Talk

Here’s a quirky little film that I thought I’d share – aimed at employers to help them discuss mental health with their staff.

This film has been produced through the MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative which provides managers, businesses and organisations with information, support and training regarding staff who experience stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.

mindful-employer

“Talking about mental health at work is difficult for everyone concerned. Beginning as a black and white, silent movie, Let’s Talk portrays the difficulties that arise through poor communication. As the film progresses, it gains both colour and a voice as we see how talking to each other enables support and understanding.”

Watch now at https://youtu.be/K6ThH_1aDf4

Find out more about MINDFUL EMPLOYER.

Claire Byron, AGCAS Disability Task Group, Newcastle University

 

 

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Every little helps?

Before you point it out I do know that it’s a different supermarket’s slogan but hey – it got your attention!

You probably spotted the following story back in April as it was quite widely reported in the press. An Asda superstore in Manchester was praised for introducing a ‘quiet hour’ in an attempt to make shopping easier for people with autism and other disabilities.

Asda living shop

As The Huffington Post reported, “The Asda Living store in Cheetham Hill will be completely silent for sixty minutes every Saturday. Escalators will be stopped and in-store music turned down during the hour, in which its boss says you will be “able to hear a pin drop”. Display TVs and tannoy announcements will also be switched off, to make the experience better for people with autism who can find loud noises difficult to deal with.”

Good news for some shoppers and undoubtedly good publicity for Asda, but this story also got me thinking about our careers fairs and other similar events. Continue reading

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I’m a blind Paralympian with a master’s, but getting a job was my biggest hurdle…

In case you missed it, I thought our readers might be interested in a recent Guardian article from Jessica Luke, a blind graduate and Paralympian, who believes that unfair application processes are still excluding her, and many other blind jobseekers, from graduate roles.

 Great Britain’s Jessica Luke (left) and Georgina Bullen (right) during the women’s goalball match against Denmark. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Great Britain’s Jessica Luke (left) and Georgina Bullen (right) during the women’s goalball match against Denmark. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Luke backs up her message with the depressing statistic that,
“Two-thirds of registered blind and partially sighted people of working age are not in paid employment.” (Douglas et al, Network 1000, 2006)

As usual the comments below are interesting too. Well worth a read I think.

Claire Byron, AGCAS Disability Task Group, Newcastle University

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What Happens Next 2015 Report

The latest edition of ‘What Happens Next: A Report on the First Destinations of Disabled Graduates’ is now available. This report compares the employment outcomes of disabled and non-disabled university leavers six months after graduation and draws upon the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

In the report (attached) we looked at:
– Disabled graduate destinations
– How they found their jobs
– Their reasons for choosing their jobs
– How well they felt university prepared them for their next career step

You can download the report here on the AGCAS website.

We hope you find it interesting and useful.

Mark Allen, Careers Consultant, Imperial College London

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Reasonable adjustments at interview

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Requesting that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made for disabled applicants at interview ensures equality of opportunity. Clearly what is appropriate will vary in relation to the sort of post applied for and for each individual. When working with disabled students and graduates a good starting point is to explore the support given and coping strategies which they used to undertake their course at university and also whether there are aspects of the selection process which concern them.

It’s important that candidates’ check what format the interview will take. Will this be a one to one or a panel interview; will psychometric tests be involved; is there a group discussion or a presentation and are there any written tasks? Clearly in order for an employer to make the appropriate adjustments the applicant will need to have disclosed their disability.  There is however, no obligation for them to do this prior to the offer of an interview, unless they are applying to a √√ user and want to take advantage of the interview guarantee scheme.

Adjustments which a disabled candidate might commonly request in the selection process could include allowing extra time on psychometric tests or written exercises, or making materials used available in an appropriate format. It could also be appropriate to ask for short breaks between the various selection elements, especially for candidates whose disability affects the speed of information processing and in some cases, written not verbal instructions.  

Issues such as the layout of the interview room and access to specialist software may be important for a visually impaired candidate, whilst the support of an interpreter may be appropriate for an individual who has a hearing impaired. For those with Asperger Syndrome having clear and precise details of the interview arrangements in advance is important, as is ensuring that there are no unexpected changes to the  schedule. There might also be adjustments needed to the lighting, ventilation or temperature, as some disabled applicants are hypersensitive to sensory input.

Hilary Whorrall, AGCAS Disability Task Group, University of Sheffield Careers Service.

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Get that Job – The new AGCAS video for disabled students and graduates

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The Disability Task Group is pleased to announce the release of Get that Job, which is aimed at supporting students and graduates in their transition from university into employment.
The video looks at the following areas,

– identifying disability-friendly employers
– applying for work
– disclosing a disability
– adjustments in the workplace

Get that Job features opinion from disabled graduates who discuss their experiences of moving from university into their jobs.  They talk through their feelings and experiences of the recruitment process, the pros and cons of the notoriously grey area of disclosure, as well as their advice for present students.

To assist present students with finding the right employer and the transition into the workplace we also have the perspective of employers from different sectors, a specialist Disability Careers Adviser and a representative of the not-for-profit organisation EmployAbility.

Additionally we also look at adjustments in the workplace.  Although need in this area vary hugely depending on the individual, some of our graduates discuss those they have in place.  For adjustments where there may be a cost, there is also information and advice on obtaining funding.

Overall we feel this video is really able to assist the nearly 10% of graduates* who disclose a disability with their career journey after university.

The programme was made possible by generous support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Shell International and Microlink PC. For further details take a look at,
http://www.agcas.org.uk/agcas_resources/671-Get-that-Job-streaming-licence-

(* AGCAS Disability Task Group report, 10 years on – 2013)

Mark Allen

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