Career support for disabled students

If you have a physical disability, neurodivergence, mental health or a long-term health condition, you may feel you would like some additional help when it comes to looking for jobs. Our careers team at Edinburgh Napier is here to support all students.


What we do

In addition to general careers advice, we can provide guidance on:

  • disclosing your disability with an employer
  • asking for adjustments/accommodations during the recruitment process
  • finding inclusive employers

The Equality Act of 2010 states that you are considered disabled if you have "a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities." The definition is broad and includes neurodivergence, sensory impairments, specific learning differences, mental health and physical health conditions.

For more information on the wider support available to students with a disability, please visit our Disability Inclusion pages.


Your disability and your career

Disclosing your disability

There is no legal requirement to disclose information regarding your disability to an employer before or during the recruitment process.  However, you should not be disadvantaged due to disability and therefore we would encourage you to consider whether disclosure would enable you to perform on a level playing field with a non-disabled applicant.

You can decide the best time to disclose. This could be prior to or during the application stage, when invited to interview or assessment centre, when you offered a role or when you begin a job.

The benefit of disclosure is being able to ask for adjustments or accommodations to empower you to perform to the best of your ability.

For more information on the law around disclosure, visit

Reasonable adjustments and accommodations

A benefit of disclosing your disability to an employer is that you can ask for adjustments (also referred to as an accommodation). An adjustment is alteration to recruitment process or to the workplace that is put in place to prevent your disability placing you at a disadvantage compared to a candidate without a disability.

Many employers explicitly invite applicants to share requests for adjustments when they apply for a job, but this is not always the case. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ask for an adjustment and explain what you require. It is also important to be aware that in most cases you don’t need to provide specific information on your condition during the recruitment stage in order to request an adjustment.

Examples of adjustments during the recruitment phase could be:

  • interview questions in advance
  • a pre-interview visit to alleviate anxiety
  • extra time to complete psychometric tests
  • accessing assistive technology
  • provision of a reader or interpreter during an interview

Examples of adjustments once you are in work could include:

  • flexibility with working hours
  • modifying equipment
  • providing extra time for processing tasks
  • providing a reader or interpreter

These are just a few examples, and the adjustments you need will be individual to you. Some of them could be like the adjustments you have at university to support your studies, and others may differ depending on your circumstances and the job. You should consider adjustments that enable you to perform at the same level as someone without a disability during the recruitment stage or when in work.

Most adjustments bear little or no cost for employers, while others may require more substantial costs, such as modifying equipment. You can apply for funding towards these costs via Access to Work, a government programme which can help pay for support you need for your disability or health condition in work, e.g. money towards travel costs or the use of an interpreter.

More resources

  • MyStudentsPlusClub have lots of guidance on how to ask for adjustments on their website.
  • We also partner with Employ-Ability who can provide you with free advice on disclosure, your rights and can even advocate on your behalf with an employer.

Finding inclusive employers

Most graduate employers want to hire the best talent, value a diverse workforce, and encourage applications from candidates based on their strengths. We recommend you try to find employers who are proactive and welcoming to applicants with a disability and those who foster a supportive working environment.

Tips for finding inclusive employers:

  • Research firms that champion equality and provide a proactive position on recruitment of a diverse workforce.
  • View the equality and diversity statement on the company website.
  • Search for profiles of disabled employees or blogs on their website/social media indicating how they support employees and applicants.
  • Check to see if the organisation encourage disclosure during the application stage – is this information easy to find on their website or application form? Is there a contact email or phone number to ask for guidance?
  • If you have a contact at the organisation, ask them for their opinion on whether the employer is inclusive and supportive.
  • Has the employer signed up to the Disability Confident scheme? The scheme includes UK employers who have agreed to the Disability Confident Commitment including inclusive and accessible recruitment.

Our disability partner Employ-Ability work with inclusive employers, running insight days, workshops, first year programmes, internships, graduate programmes and scholarships. These organisations include Google, Amazon, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bird & Bird, FCA and more.


Useful organisations

General advice on disability

 Name of service About the service  Website

 Dyslexia Scotland

 Dyslexia charity
 Dyspraxia Foundation  Dyspraxia charity
 Autism Scotland  Autism charity
 Scottish ADHD Coalition  ADHD charity
 Tourette Scotland  Tourette's charity
 Disability Rights UK  Information organisation advocating for disabled people's rights
 Deaf Unity  Information organisation for deaf people
 Royal National Institute of Blind People  Charity supporting blind and partially-sighted people, including employment support
 Ability net  Information on assistive technology, including free resources and advice

Organisations offering employability advice or employment opportunities

 Name of service About the service  Website

 My Plus Students Club

 Advice and employer contacts, helping disabled graduates land their dream job
 The Image Project  Resources to improve the employability of autistic graduates
 Access to Work  Government grant website for disabled people
 Employ-Ability  Support for disabled students, graduates and employers
 Exceptional Individuals  Recruitment and employment support for individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism
 Leonard Cheshire  Employment support including internship programme (Change 100) for disabled students
 Evenbreak  Job board for disabled candidates
 Blind in Business  Helping blind and partially-sighted people into work


Our partnership with Employ-Ability

As a Next Generation Inclusive University, we have partnered with Employ-Ability, an organisation which supports students and graduates to understand disability and employment.

They provide individual tailored advice and host free online workshops on topics such as:

  • requesting adjustments for recruitment and the workplace
  • information on your rights
  • when and how to disclose
Register with Employ-Ability
Student with blonde hair and blue jacket in conversation with coach