Equality issues

Equality concerns

You may have concerns around equality issues when considering your career options and jobs or future courses. These may revolve around:

  • a health condition or disability
  • your race
  • whether you have a criminal record
  • your gender
  • your sexual orientation

For links to advice on the above topics, go to Information resources in the left-hand menu and see the 'Equality issues' section.


Although many students are anxious that their disability / dyslexia will have an impact on their career choices, this is often not the case. It is likely that throughout your education and life in general, you will have developed a range of sophisticated coping strategies and approaches to handling obstacles which you have faced. So, your disability may have no impact on your future career plans.

However, there could be issues which you’d like more information on, such as whether to disclose a health condition or disability to a prospective employer, and what ‘reasonable adjustments’ you can expect in the selection process and in the workplace. 

The advice which a careers adviser would give to any student or graduate in relation to their career decision making is to ‘play to your strengths’. Through an individual discussion with a careers adviser you might find it useful to explore your current career aspirations, to use their assistance to identify possible careers, or to identify what, if any, ‘reasonable adjustments’ could be put into place to address any problems you anticipate. You can book appointments with the Careers Service via Career Connect (see the link on the right of this page).

Below are some University of Sheffield students and graduates who shared with us their experiences of disability when looking for jobs and placements and getting the right adjustments in their workplace.

Research how 'disability positive' an employer is

Some employers use the UK Government's 'Disability Confident' scheme  (previously the 'Two Ticks' scheme). Under the scheme, these employers operate a policy of positive discrimination in the recruitment and retention of disabled employees and those with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. You can see a list of employers who have signed up to the scheme on the UK Government website. Where possible, all candidates who have declared a disability and meet the basic selection criteria, will automatically be offered an interview.

Where an employer is not a 'Disability Confident' scheme member, there are ways you can check their disability record, before deciding whether to make an application:

  • Check if their website includes a policy statement on equal opportunities and/or profiles of disabled employees
  • Do their job adverts use the words ‘positive about disabled people’?
  • Is the organisation a member of the Business Disability Forum?
  • Is it a supporter of the Mindful Employers ‘Charter for employers who are positive about mental health’?
  • Look out for opportunities to talk to representatives of the company at careers events to get a first-hand impression
  • Check if there are any support networks in the company for disabled employees
  • Make contact with University of Sheffield alumni who are now working in the organisation
  • Does the employer indicate that ‘alternative formats’ for application forms etc. are available?
  • Does their website refer to any ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the selection process?

Disability and mental health

Targetjobs provide information to support you in finding disability-positive employers, whether or not to disclose your disability and your rights around disability and mental health

My Plus Students' Group

Provides opportunities and careers advice from disability confident employers.

Widening participation students

Discover your future - for widening participation students

All students should have fair access to opportunities and the chance to thrive in the right career. Certain features of the graduate labour market can favour people from more privileged backgrounds, and regardless of background, some students find it easier to make the move into graduate employment than others.

Discover your future provides dedicated careers support for 'First generation+' undergraduates (those who are either in the first generation of their family at University, or meet other criteria). Once you register, you will have access to a range of talks and one to one support.