Providing practical careers advice for your students with disabilities: The five pillars of disability confidence

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Providing students with disabilities to understand, and empathise with, the unique challenges they face as they search for disability confident employers and navigate the recruitment process.

Key challenges for students include, but are not limited to: how to position their disability positively, whether or not to inform an employer about their disability, what support and adjustments they can request, and how to account for differences in their application; differences such as lower grades or a lack of work experience.

So how do you navigate these challenges and ensure that you are able to provide the expert and specialised careers advice that your students require?

It’s not easy however Universities have a collective responsibility to support all students as they transition from education into employment, and it will involve challenging people’s perceptions of what is possible.

Key is getting the individual fully involved in university life in order to develop employability skills. Employers look for much more than just good academics; they look for leadership skills, examples of initiative, people skills, and you can only develop these if you get fully involved in university life.

And secondly there is building capability through the 5 Pillars of Disability Confidence:

  • Understanding the employment challenges facing students with disabilities.
  • My ‘Plus’: identifying your strengths to stand out from the crowd.
  • The benefits of being open and how to be open.
  • Applying for a job with a disability, and accounting for differences on your application.
  • And Requesting adjustments.

What can you do now?

Share practical advice with your students – content on is freely available to download. Plan the ways in which you can share and promote this and other useful resources to your students with disabilities including sign posting them to our free e.books which provide practical advice regards the key challenges.