Charter on the Inclusive Recruitment of Students with Disabilities


This Charter has been designed as a pact for universities and employers to work together in order to develop long-term and sustainable approaches to the inclusion of people with disabilities. Universities will support organisations to recruit the best and most diverse talent; organisations will aim to adopt the following principles in their employment practices.

General Principles

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Procedures:

  • Employment of people with a disability should form an integral part of all Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies and practices
  • The job specification (or ‘person requirements’) of a vacancy should not exclude disabled people from applying for a job
  • You can ask if a candidate needs an adjustment to the recruitment process to allow them to be considered for the job, or you can wait to be told
  • You can make adjustments if they’re reasonable (see Reasonable Adjustment Guidelines)
  • If appropriate to the vacancy, as much as possible of the recruitment process should be conducted as ‘anonymous’ recruitment (removing personally identifiable information from applications before shortlisting) (See Anonymous Recruitment Methodologies document)
  • You can provide a direct point of contact within the organisation who can provide confidential advice to enable all students to participate in the recruitment process.

Staff Training and Disability Awareness:

  • All PACES partner universities will provide training for employers and staff about awareness of disability and support for people with disabilities
  • Unconscious bias training can also be provided to recruiters or those involved in hiring decisions.

The Working Environment:

  • Reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure that the working environment does not prevent people with disabilities from taking up positions for which they are suitably qualified (see Reasonable Adjustment Guidelines).

Fair and Inclusive Recruitment Commitment:

  • Recruitment procedures should be reviewed and developed to encourage applications from, and the employment of, people with disabilities
  • Marketing materials should be designed to encourage all eligible students to apply and be clear that all students are welcome to apply.

Career Development:

  • Reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure that employees with disabilities have the same opportunity as others to develop their full potential within the organisation.

Retention, Retraining and Redeployment:

  • Full support should be given to any employees who acquire any disability, enabling them to maintain or return to a role appropriate to their experience and abilities within the organisation.

Training and Work Experience:

  • People with a disability should be included in work experience, training and education opportunities.

People with Disabilities in the Wider Community:

  • The organisation should recognise and respond positively to people with disabilities as clients, suppliers, and members of the community at large.

Involvement of People with Disabilities:

  • Employees should be involved in implementing this agenda to ensure that, wherever possible, employment practices recognise and meet the needs of all staff.

Monitoring Performance:

  • The organisation should monitor its progress in implementing the key points, for example by an annual audit of performance, reviewed at board level. Achievements and objectives should be published to employees and in the annual report.

Support Mechanisms:

  • Employers can liaise with the university, its accessibility centre and careers centre for support on hiring students with disabilities. Support can include design of inclusive recruitment processes, advice on reasonable adjustments or advice on blind recruitment (see accompanying documents).

Supporting Documentation:

  • The PACES project has created documentation to support businesses to attract and hire diverse, good quality applicants, which can be viewed in support of this charter if necessary:
    • Document A: Employer’s Responsibility guidelines
    • Document B: Accessibility Action Plan
    • Document C: Reasonable Adjustment Guidelines
    • Document D: Anonymous recruitment and Contextualised recruitment methodologies
    • Document E: University Accessibility Centre Mission and University support for transition to work.