Local (BUCKS) and National Organisations and Services Supporting Disability Employment

There are many Government efforts, such as Access to Work Funding, Disability Employment Advisors and Specialist Employability Support.  There are endorsed approaches, like developing Vocational Profiles and Job Carving to develop jobs that work to people's personal strengths.  There are Associations and provision for supported employment in different settings, like garden centres and farms with support workers schemes, like with the BBC, aimed at those with disabilities, charities focused on working with disabilities in areas, like work or life skills, like Talk Back.  National charities that have researchers, found case studies and advice for people with different conditions in the work setting.  

Independent and Work Ready CIC (our organisation) is part of the Make a Difference Employment Initiative run by Able Magazine, the major disability lifestyle magazine.  You can see our profile here:  https://ablemagazine.co.uk/articles/be-the-difference/be-the-difference-employers/.  You will also find other employers that may be able to help you, as well as jobs and case studies. Our own services also give you an opportunity to develop your employability and gain work skills.  You can also volunteer, such as contribute to this site learning digital, creativity and IT/web skills.  Run by and for those with any disability or chronic health conditions.

Back to Base.  Local help and Supported Employment to find work if you have SEND from Bucks County Council.  https://www.careadvicebuckinghamshire.org/s4s/WhereILive/Council?pageId=1602

BASE is the British Association of Supported Employment that has many members who provide structured supported employment projects for people with disabilities to introduce them to work with support, so they have Access to Work funding for help, like job coaches and support workers.  The person with a disability gets support and training with a strict focus on health and safety and maintains standards.  A Buckinghamshire member organisation is Back to Base.  https://www.base-uk.org/about-british-association-supported-employment

Job Centre Plus Disability Employment Advisorscan signpost you to disability confident employers, employment programs like Access to Work and Work Disability Support. They can look at your disability and its impact on work and look at reasonable adjustments.  They can give you a work assessment.  https://www.jobcentreguide.co.uk/jobcentre-plus-guide/34/disability-employment-advisors

The Job Centre also has mock application forms so you can practice applying for jobs. Use them to get used to this skill. Also get feedback from others when you have completed the form. Be very aware of spelling, grammar and your handwriting or typing font when completing applications see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-application-form-jobcentre-plus

The UK Government Health and Work Programme

This helps people with a disability find and stay in work.  It is voluntary (you do not have to do it unless you have been out of work for more than 24 months).  They help you find suitable work, put you in touch with suitable employers, help you identify and match your skills to work, helping you get work ready.  They help you manage your disability or health condition at work and get all the support you need and are entitled too.  You can access the programme through a job coach at your local Job Centre Plus.  Remember, your job centre will also have Disability Employment Advisors you can talk to and get help from that can help you with tasks like applying to Access to Work, so you get support and any adjustments or equipment to help you manage your disability or health condition at work.  https://www.gov.uk/work-health-programme

Access to Work Government Funding Official Website.  If you have a disability or learning disability and need in-work support, like transport, support workers, job coach, equipment or technology, to minimise the impact of your disability at work.  https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Reed free CV  Builder 


Reed free cover letter template (letter used to introduce yourself when applying for a job. Used to explain why you want the job and why you are suitable such as talking about your skills, qualities, work and volunteering experience as well as any qualifications. You can also say why you would like to work for that company. Always also send your CV. Also the Reed website has lots of information about cover letters see https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/free-cover-letter-template/

National Careers Service  provides help to find careers and work, including resources for exploring what different job roles are like, to skills tests to help you identify strengths and weaknesses for work.  Very good for exploring work options and also courses.  https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk

Mencap have an Employment Finding Service for individuals with a learning disability.  https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/employment/finding-job

Work Fit.  A Down's Syndrome-supported employment service throughout the UK.  https://www.dsworkfit.org.uk link to open resource.

Building Futuresprovides employment assistance for the long term unemployed and those facing barriers to employment, such as disability or learning disability who live in Buckinghamshire and are 15 years of age plus. They work with different partners to provide employment and help being ready for employment, such as working with the mental health charity Mind.  They help those facing disadvantages and challenges.  Participants get a key worker to support them.  https://www.buildingfuturesbucks.org.uk/am-i-eligable-to-take-part

Innovations helps those with disabilities or disadvantaged achieve social, enterprise and vocational aims through structured activities, from socialising in the community to enterprise tasks, developing creative or catering skills or animal care skills, to education programmes, to days out.  They are based at:

Innovations Hub
Stoke Hammond Community Centre
Bragenham Side, Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire, MK17 9DB.  https://innovations-wow.com/a-homepage-section/

Disability Confident.  Employers information about the scheme:  A Government scheme that supports and identifies employers that make extra efforts for employees with disabilities.  Look out for the Logo when applying!  Includes many well known companies, like Asda, Marks & Spencer, BT and Royal Mail.  This link gives the list and some case studies of the efforts made.  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

The Disability Confident YouTube Channel provides lots of video case studies from Disability Confident Employers showing best practice and what works well for people with different disabilities at work.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNZ3ChU6HObW5KtMf4zFJlg

Disability Confident Case Study at Sainsbury's.  https://www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/news/latest-news/2017/27-10-2017-disabilityconfident 

A look at Job Carving.  A strategy often used in disability employment to ensure a job role matches someone’s strengths and abilities.  BASE explains how job Carving is a strategy often used in Supported Employment.  https://www.base-uk.org/employers-recruitment-jobcarving

A Vocational Profile, like the one provided by Preparation for Adulthood gets you to consider what you want from employment, your work aspirations, and the types of work you want to try.  It gets you planning for your future and exploring the best work options for you, your skills and qualities.  It helps you be realistic but in control and doing what interests you.  https://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/SiteAssets/Downloads/wpykaifl636379632195713341.pdf

Specialist Employability Support.  Government funding for higher need where access to work is not enough, often for sensory disabilities or Autism, delivered through providers like the Shaw Trust.  https://www.gov.uk/specialist-employability-support

Intensive Personalised Employment Support

Help from an identified support worker if you are unemployed and have a disability or chronic health condition you can ask a job coach and Job Centre plus for personalised support for up to 15 months to help you prepare and get paid work through training. You will have someone to support you find suitable available work, helping you manage and if needed overcome your disability at work, help you access other support as well as help you find training you may need to get work prepared for work. Be a point of support during your first 6 months of working. https://www.gov.uk/intensive-personalised-employment-support

BBC Disability Recruitment Schemes.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/careers/trainee-schemes-and-apprenticeships/extend/extend

Disability Apprenticeships.  The Disability Rights Commission have developed a detailed guide about disability and apprenticeships.  This gives detailed information about what to expect, the support people can get, like Access to Work Funding and lots of disability and apprenticeship case study examples.  https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/sites/default/files/pdf/IntoApprenticeships2017.pdf

Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award.  https://www.leonardcheshire.org/about-us/press-and-media/press-releases/bristolian-flies-high-win-stelios-award-201

Scope’s Online Employment Service for people with any disability Based in the U.K. or Wales. https://www.scope.org.uk/employment-services/support-to-work

Also as part of the wider offering by Scope the scheme  Career Pathway offers those with a disability an aged 16-25 an online or telephone 3 hour session with an independent careers advisor to explore career options and what ‘reasonable adjustments’ may be useful in the workplace, this is country wide. Scope have other  disability employment support schemes like Kickstart (1:1 Employment support) and Starting Line for pre employment support  but these are only in set U.K. locations like London, Leeds or in the case of Starting Line also Manchester and Calderdale.

The DFN Foundation and the National Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Employment Forum(NSEF) have been working together to set up the ‘Finding Your Future’ campaign aimed at improving employment outcomes and self belief of those with learning disabilities and autism giving details of the  see the ‘Finding Brighter Futures’ initiative  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q50zRAAjAFU&t=8s  Also see the DFN project Search finding paid work for those with learning disabilities and autism funded by the National Lottery. https://www.dfnprojectsearch.org/find-a-programme/ 

Glass Door a good website for getting reviews about what it is like to work for a company written by those who work there. You can find lots of company information, good for a jobs searching and for getting insights into what it would be like to work there. https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/member/home/companies.htm

Different charities have provided very detailed information on working with different conditions, so it is worth looking at charities relevant to your condition for relevant advice about work, for example:

Action for Epilepsy provide a publication about workplace issues with the condition.  To put this publication together, they have worked with the TUC.  https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/EpilepsyInTheWorkplace.pdf 

This is also true of Action for ME.  With their 48-page guide to work with the condition for employees with ME and also a separate employers' guide.  https://www.actionforme.org.uk/news/new-employment-resources-for-people-with-me/ 

The National Stroke Association.  http://www.stroke.org.uk/sites/default/files/work_and_stroke_14pt_gi_v3.pdf

The MS Society give this advice.  http://www.mssociety.org.uk/care-and-support/everyday-living/working-and-ms/work-ms-and-you 

Shift.ms is the social network for people with Multiple Sclerosis,  their MS Reporters do videos on the experiences, issues and barriers to work experienced by those with MS.  https://shift.ms/ms-and-work-series-1

Working with Arthritis.  A Guide from Arthritis Care.  https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/assets/000/001/575/Working_with_Arthritis_for_web_original.pdf?1478874660 

Employment and IBD.  A Guide for Employees from Crohn’s and Colitis UK have produced an information booklet.  http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/about-inflammatory-bowel-disease/publications/employment-ibd-a-guide-for-employees 

Connexions Bucks. Help with work, training, counselling and education options for young people.  http://www.connexionsbucks.org.uk

Bucks Workability for Employment Opportunities in Buckinghamshire run by Buds.  http://www.bucksworkability.com

Wannabe Bucks offers apprenticeship and work experience opportunities for everyone.  www.wannabebucks.org 

The Hidden Impairments National Group considered how various hidden impairments impact on common work roles.  These impairments included Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Autism, Specific Language impairments, and more, and gives practical work examples and workable detailed solutions for minimising difficulties at work.  http://qna.files.parliament.uk/qna-attachments/422723/original/Uncovering%20Hidden%20Impairments%20Toolkit.pdf     

The Council for Disabled Childrenhave developed a booklet for young people who acquire a disability and it helps with looking at education, training and employment options to help them adjust to disability and take control back.  https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/help-resources/resources/get-back-where-we-do-belong 

Disability Rights UK.  www.disabilityrightsuk.org.  Information source for disabled people covering employment, careers, education, training and welfare issues.


Work Fit Online Simulation is an online hotel work simulation game that cleverly evaluates the type of work and the type of employer you are, so you can find suitable work roles and try work via a virtual simulation to help you develop your confidence.  It has also been developed by Even Break.  It has been designed to assess and develop your employability skills as it looks at your strengths, weaknesses and core abilities, while giving you areas to develop and help with interview questions.  https://game.jobfit.me.uk/evenbreak/

Even Break.  Disability jobs board.  https://www.evenbreak.co.uk

Disability Jobsite. A Disability online jobs board focused on disabled recruitment.  www.disabilityjobsite.co.uk 

Thrift Farm.  A Buckinghamshire MK working farm, visitor attraction and cafe, offering jobs and work experience for people with special needs or disability in Milton Keynes.  http://thriftfarm.co.uk/why-were-here.htm

Sunnyside Rural Trust.  Work placements for SEN and disability in horticulture based in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted.  http://www.sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk

Community Head Injury Service (NHS).  Provides a range of rehabilitation services that includes vocational rehabilitation, looking into suitable job roles for those 16 years of age plus that have experienced acquired head injury.  Their programme is called ‘Working Out’ and includes help retaining work, finding suitable roles, helping find work trails and placements.  They have a Jobs Club and do group work employment sessions.  https://www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/Our%20clinical%20services/A%20to%20Z%20of%20clinical%20services/chis.htm

Community Impact Bucks.  Volunteering.  http://volunteeringbucks.org.uk/general-volunteering

Youth Action.  Aylesbury Community volunteering for 14-24 year olds in Aylesbury.  http://aylesburyyouthaction.co.uk.  They will make efforts to accommodate special needs, like by buddying volunteers together.

The Bucks Disability Information Service (Buds) on disability issues.  They also offer work experience placements.  They help make events accessible, attending local events and providing information and advice.  They also have volunteers working at these events.  They are run for and by disabled people.  https://buds.org.uk

Work Aid.  The Hub.  A supported Employment Charity in Chesham where people with learning difficulties work making tools.  https://workaid.org/what-we-do/the-hub

Road Farm Countryways.  A working farm and visitor attraction, offering animals and arts and crafts to visitors where people with disabilities or learning difficulties can volunteer on the farm with the arts and crafts, or in the office. Based in Great Missenden, Bucks.  https://www.roadfarmcountryways.com

Missenden Walled Garden.  A supported employment and horticulture project in Great Missenden, Bucks.  https://missendenwalledgarden.org/about-us

TRIANGLE PROJECT.  Marlow, Bucks Allotment Association. Horticulture gardening project for those with learning disabilities based in Marlow, Bucks.  http://www.marlowallotments.org/the-triangle-project 

Mind Mental Health Charity Bucks Employment Support.  https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/services/employment-support

Healthy Minds Bucks.  Employment service working with the Richmond Foundation.  https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/healthyminds/getting-help/employment

Talkback.  A Charity offering self-advocacy helping people to build self-esteem, confidence and have more say and control over their own lives.  For those with learning disabilities and includes travel training and employment help.  http://www.talkback-uk.com

Macintyre.  Working with and empowering those with learning disabilities, helping with life long learning, and community support.  www.Macintyrecharity.org.  Has community projects like the Macintyre Café, offering work experience.     

Tool-shed. https://www.toolshedbucks.co.uk. Social Enterprise offering construction skills to those who have SEND or are not in education 16-24 years of age.

Lindengate offers therapeutic horticulture work to those experiencing mental health issues or that have other disabilities, like Autism.  lindengate.org.uk 

Animal Antics.  Animal-assisted learning, volunteering and employability for SEND.  https://www.animalantiks.co.uk

MK Snap is a Charity offering professional support, training, education, life skills, work and opportunities for individuals aged 16 years plus with learning disabilities.  http://mksnap.org

Supported Employment MK.  Equality Works involves supported employment at Café Civic.  There is also a training kitchen, various employment options and travel training options.  https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/adult-social-care/learning-disability/equality-works

Training and Employment by The Autism  Teaching Company AuTC.  Help with employability skills, interviews, CVs, communication and social skills at work, helping making workplaces accessible for people with Autism and helping with life skills.  http://autismteachingcompany.org.uk/autism-in-the-workplace/

Bucks County Council offers general work experience for up to two weeks.  Open to all, not specifically for those with a disability.  They have placements in different areas, including business support, IT, Education admissions and transport.  http://jobs.buckscc.gov.uk/job-areas/work-experience (for specific disability support from the Council, see Back to Base). 

Time Credits.  Volunteer and earn time credits to use on activities, like free tickets for visitor attractions and leisure available locally or nationwide.  https://timecredits.com

Chiltern Rangers offers conservation-based volunteering in High Wycombe.  https://chilternrangers.co.uk

Whizz Kids is a UK-Wide Charity for children and young people who use a wheelchair. They offer UK-wide 2-week work experience with different employers they find for you.  Helping wheelchair users aged 14-25.  They work with individuals, or will work with schools and colleges to find work experience.  They also offer work skills days and have other services, such as wheelchair skills and services.  http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/get-our-help/young-people/work-placements

Bucks NHS offer volunteer placements in many different areas for all abilities, and work experience placements also for those aged 17 plus doing 'A' level or equivalent and considering a career in a healthcare area.  https://www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/gettinginvolved/volunteering.htm

Change 100 is a graduate programme for recent graduates of degree programmes that have achieved a First or 2:1 grade and also students on track for good degrees.  All applications must be from individuals with chronic health conditions or disabilities (including Dyslexia, physical disability, sensory disability, Autism and Mental Health conditions.  They get a paid summer internship with well-regarded well-known companies.  https://www.leonardcheshire.org/what-we-do/working/employment-support-and-internships/internships-students-and-graduates