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Employment supports for people with disabilities

Our handy guide to work resources tailored for you


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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If you have a disability, it’s not always immediately obvious what services are provided to help make your job hunt easier. This straightforward employment guide includes information about schemes available to you, as well as links to relevant websites and agencies.

Supported Employment services

Supported Employment services is a function of the Department of Social Protection which offers help and advice to jobseekers who have a disability. It is an umbrella organisation for sponsor agencies which provide supports to such jobseekers. The services offered include:

  • Needs assessments
  • Employment plans
  • Career planning
  • Job sourcing
  • On-the-job support
  • Advice and mentoring

The service helps identify your particular skills, and match them to the needs of employers. On top of this, they can also provide job coaches who assist in identifying and developing skills, and finding job vacancies in suitable organisations. It’s all free, but you must be in genuine need of assistance for seeking employment, and must be Job Ready (have the necessary training and education for the roles offered). Click here for further information on Supported Employment Services.

EmployAbility

EmployAbility has branches all around the country. It’s a public limited company which receives State funding, and offers similar services to those provided by Supported Employment Services such as identifying skills, job openings, and assigning job coaches to people with disabilities.

Their job coaches take a hands-on role to ensure that clients have the best chance of obtaining employment, and their functions include:

  • CV/interview preparation
  • Finding work experience opportunities
  • Accompaniment to interviews
  • Travel training to prepare clients for their daily commute to work
  • On-the-job support, and ensuring that you’re provided a suitable workplace

EmployAbility try to source jobs that meet candidates’ experience, qualifications and working requirements. They’ll also inform you of various grants available to disabled jobseekers such as readers, interpreters and Back To Work allowances. They also offer advice on specialised transport services and personal assistants.

The Irish Association of Supported Employment

The Irish Association of Supported Employment is another organisation that encourages inclusive recruitment and employment supports for people with disabilities, you can visit their website here.

  • If you want to start your own business you may be eligible for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or Short-term Enterprise Allowance
  • Tús is a community work placement initiative providing work opportunities which benefit the community. Placements are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas. Jobseekers who are eligible to participate in the scheme are selected and contacted by the Department of Social Protection.

Grants available

If you have an interview and have a hearing or speech impairment, the Job Interview Interpreter Grant scheme can fund an interpreter. If you are starting a job or are already working with a disability you can apply for the Workplace Equipment and Adaptation Grant to adapt the workplace or to buy equipment.

Incentives for employers

The wage subsidy scheme gives financial assistance to employers of people with disabilities whose productivity levels are reduced by a certain amount and who work at least 21 hours per week.

Contact your local employment services office or Intreo centre for more information.  

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Published Octo­ber 6th2014
Tags work employment disability schemes jobs
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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