Disability and inclusion: find positive employers

Know your rights under the Equality Act 2010 and find out how to identify employers with a particularly positive approach towards diversity and inclusion.


Many employers strive to increase diversity within their workforce as this has been found to have many benefits– so you may decide you want to focus your attention on these employers (although you should not feel limited to these employers). 

As a student or graduate with protected characteristics looking for employment, you should be aware of your rights.  Under the Equality Act 2010 you are legally protected from discrimination: 

  • during the recruitment processes  

  • in the workplace  

  • in wider society 

The Equality Act 2010

Employers are also required to make “reasonable adjustments” during the recruitment process and in the workplace to prevent people being disadvantaged. 

What are reasonable adjustments? 

What is reasonable will depend on each situation and employer, but employers must consider your request for reasonable adjustments seriously. 

Here are some of the challenges you may face and some examples of reasonable adjustments. What would make things easier for your own circumstances? 

Challenge: Spelling 

Examples of adjustments: 

  • Assistive text software 

Challenge:  Social interaction and communication 

Examples of adjustments: 

  • Asking for breaks from the office, or a desk away from a lot of office traffic, may help control sensory overload. 

  • Ask for an explanation of any office “unwritten rules”. 

  • Ask the recruiter to avoid hypothetical questions during interviews as you may interpret language quite literally. 

Challenge: Reading and writing 

Examples of adjustments: 

  • Asking for a longer period to complete any psychometric tests or written exercises during the recruitment process. 

  • Ask for mind-mapping software to help map out your thoughts/workload. 

If you have, or had, a “Schedule of Adjustments” in place at University ask yourself if any of these would also be helpful in the workplace. 

More examples of reasonable adjustments: 

ACAS’ webpage on reasonable adjustments

Tips about working with ADHD 

Identifying suitable employers 

Employers who undertake a particularly positive approach towards recruiting people with disabilities are identified through the Disability Confident scheme. 

List of current employers 

Some employers, or organisations, have targeted employment schemes (internship and graduate positions) aimed at increasing the inclusion of disabled students and graduates, or those from other underrepresented groups. For example: 

Some organisations work with students and graduates with disabilities to help them find, and apply for, opportunities.  

Change 100 



Have a look at our quick guide on finding LGBTQ-friendly employers.

LGBTQ-friendly employers (Requires University of Edinburgh Login) 

Another way to help you identify suitable employers is to look at their company website and ask: 

  • Is it accessible to you?   

  • Do you feel the company is demonstrating inclusion and the values they say are important to them?   

  • What are their recruitment practices?   

  • Are their application forms available in accessible formats, is the application process clear?  

  • Do they offer any positive action or recruitment schemes?   

If you know anyone within the company, you may wish to speak to them about the company culture, this type of personal experience might be useful to you when making decisions. 

Find out more ways to investigate the culture of an employer:  

Tips to identify the culture of an employer   (Requires University of Edinburgh login)