Whilst reading through a job description with a well-known deaf charity, I stumbled upon the phrase; ‘Guaranteed Interview Scheme’. I hadn’t come across it before so I looked into it, and I definitely think it’s something we should be spreading the word about…
The ‘Guaranteed Interview Scheme’ as known previously, has been replaced by HM Government Disability Confident Scheme in 2016.
‘Through Disability Confident, the Government is working with employers to challenge attitudes, increase understanding of disability, remove barriers, and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.’ – Their website explains further.
The scheme aims to highlight the benefits of employing disabled people
There are three levels to the scheme;
Level One; Disability Confident Committed
Level Two; Disability Confident Employer
Level Three; Disability Confident Leader
All levels cover various criteria which employers have to fulfil if they wish to proceed to a higher level. To become Level One, employers commit to certain disability friendly objectives, including offering an interview to disabled people. This is definitely worth knowing especially for those who struggle to find work because of their disability.
There is a list of thousands of employers who have signed up to the scheme, with organisations including charities who you might expect to be more disability aware such as Action on Hearing Loss, Royal Association for the Deaf and Scope. It also includes many large companies such as Barclays, Aviva and Royal Mail, as well as hundreds of smaller enterprises.
It’s definitely worth a look at the list and to find out more if you are looking for work in case the company you are applying to is committed to the scheme. It could also be worth a mention on an application letter or at interview if you are discussing your disability that you notice they are part of the scheme.
Not part of the scheme?
If you are already in work and your employer hasn’t currently signed up, it could be worth a mention to management or HR. The more organisations who can become increasingly disability aware the better, to try to eventually remove the barriers many disabled people face when trying to find work.
Although we should be equal when it comes to job searching, disability and deafness shouldn’t stand in our way. We should be proud to tell potential employers that we have a hearing loss, but I personally don’t always feel comfortable doing so, as sad as that may sound.
I don’t want to give employers a reason to not give me the job or an interview. We need to change that ethos. I shouldn’t have to hide my deafness. I am proud of it, in most fields it’s something I want to shout from the rooftops, but I still don’t feel equal when it comes to finding a job.
I’m not sure how widely publicised this scheme is to companies, so I think more needs to be done to spread the word. Hopefully we can raise awareness of this to encourage more organisations to join up and recognise the value of employing disabled workers.
More info: www.disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk