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Disability and Recruitment – a Personal Experience


I faced a double blow when I left university, not only struggling to get a job but I experienced sudden drop of confidence due to my disability. I’m partially deaf and wear hearing aids but I have never really considered it to be much of a problem. Yet, it was on an internship with a magazine that I first felt that my hearing loss might be holding me back.

During the internship, I developed a morbid fear of using office phones as I would struggle to hear things like names and email addresses. I remember my heart sinking when someone asked me to take notes on a meeting; I was embarrassed about not being able to hear everything. But worst of all, I remember someone coming over asking me to transcribe a taped interview (which I would have been perfectly able to do with the volume turned up) glancing at my hearing aids and saying ‘er… better get someone else to do it.’

With every problem, there is a solution and there is help out there. If you do have a disability (however minor you make think it is), arrange a meeting with your careers department at university and find out more about the challenges you might face in your future career. Contact your university disability service to talk about possible solutions to potential problems in the work place. For me, simple things like getting a phone with volume and tone control and using a tape recorder to record meetings made a staggering difference.

It is up to you whether or not you disclose your disability to an employer, but it is highly recommended that you do. If you do, don’t just say ‘I have a disability’ but tell them the kinds of things you might have trouble with and what you will not. Best of all, you’ll be able to propose the solutions that you worked out with your university disability and careers service. Visit AllAboutCareers| Disability and Recruitment  for more advice on disability and recruitment.

Job interviews and internships are daunting enough without having to worry about your disability… 

Written by Maudie from – a careers advice website for 16 to 24 year olds.

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