1 Dec 2014
Student Services contribute to new guidance to support disabled students into employment
The work of Loughborough’s Student Services section is featured in important new national guidance for university careers service staff on how to support disabled students into employment.
The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) conducted research into what support practices exist across universities to help students find employment, with a particular focus on the provision of support for disabled students. Dan Doran, the University's Mental Health Coordinator, was a member of the ECU advisory board.
In the ECU guidance, Loughborough is highlighted as one of the universities working proactively to support disabled students to find employment and its work is featured in three case studies:
- An event for disabled students and graduates, organised by the Disability Office and Careers and Employability Centre, aimed to provide advice and information and raise awareness about employment issues for disabled students going on to placement, or leaving university and entering a career. Forty students attended the half-day event which consisted of talks and workshops on issues such as disclosure of a disability in the recruitment process and preparing for careers fairs, along with optional workshops from various employment sectors. As a result of the event an information booklet was produced – A guide to employment for disabled students and graduates
- Staff in the University's Mental Health team were concerned that their students and disabled students who may lack confidence could find the size and busyness of careers fairs off-putting. They therefore organised an access hour which allowed these students the opportunity to meet with the employers in a quieter environment. A workshop was held a week before the careers fair so that students could feel better prepared and more confident to network with employers. On the day, students were offered the opportunity to ask the mental health team questions before embarking on their conversations with potential employers.
- Loughborough set up a new group with representatives from the Counselling and Disability Service and Careers and Employability Centre to tackle issues affecting disabled students. It is hoped this group will identify and tackle employability and careers-related issues affecting disabled students, share and attend events and training courses, share knowledge, best practice and resources and organise new events. This will provide a more formalised mechanism for collaborative work between services and build on current work around this topic.