Leiden University Career Zone
Working with a disability
A disability or (chronic) illness can have an influence on your career. The degree of influence depends very much on the nature of your disability and the field in which you wish to work.
A recent piece of legislation, namely the Participation law (in Dutch: Participatiewet), is focused on allowing people, with and without a disability, to participate in the labour process. This legislation requests collaboration from employers, also in cases when additional support or adaptations are required. You can read the details of this legislation, and find out what it means for you, on the website of Expatica.
There are many organisation that specialise in assisting people with a disability in finding a suitable job, and assisting employers in creating adapted work spaces. Some are focused on specific target groups (for example people with a visual impairment), others on specific areas of work (for example IT) or specific educational backgrounds. Take a look here [only available in Dutch] for an overview of agencies and their specialisations.
When should I tell an employer about a disability?
The question of when to mention a disability to a (future) employers depends on the degree to which your disability may have an impact on your work. If your performance will not be affected, there is no need to mention it. If you require an adapted work place, additional guidance, support and/or an adapted work schedule, it is advisable to mention this during the job interview.
Ieder(in): an organisation that strives to ensure that people with a disability can participate fully in society.
Kennisconsortium CrossOver: a collaboration between prominent Dutch (umbrella) organisations, primarily in the fields of work, education and healthcare. The consortium’s joint focus is improving the social participation of people with a disability.
Tip: Take the Icares career and competence test!
At the Career Service you can ask for a career and competence test, which allows you to link your results to your disability. This way, you will get more insight into the extent to which your disability could hamper you in practising a specific function.
(Note: it may be the case that your disability is not included in the list and that you are unable to make the relevant selection. In that case, it is still advisable to take the test, as it may provide you with useful information).
Apply for a career test/competence test
Send an email requesting the test(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org .
You will receive the test via the email address provided and can take it online at home.
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