Innovative Practices 2013 on Employment

Disabled people leading career development

A series of projects led by disabled people enable other disabled people not just to get in to work, but also to get on in their careers.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Disabled people leading career development
Organisation:Disability Rights UK/Doing Careers Differently
of origin
United Kingdom


a) The national survey secured 1,461 responses and a pool of over 100 disabled people in director level roles.

b) The network of senior disabled people – Radiate – has over 200 members, with a target of 400 by March 2013.

c) The guide (Doing Careers Differently) follows the approach adopted in a previous guide (Doing Work Differently) which provides evidence that sharing stories generates a measurable increase in inspiration for people to seek more employment opportunities. The guide draws on evidence of “what works” in the workplace (mentoring, career support). It is being distributed to 20,000 disabled people including disabled graduates to have wide impact.


The projects include:

a) the first ever national survey of disabled people in senior jobs (Doing Seniority Differently), which identified a pool of senior disabled people and statistically significant evidence of success factors – like mentoring or longterm support.

b) the first network of disabled people in senior jobs, who support each other and mentor disabled people earlier in their careers and influence recruitment and human resource companies

c) a guide (Doing Careers Differently) written by and for disabled people, rooted in stories and evidence of “what works”

Most disability employment initiatives focus on getting into work, as though any job will do, and furthermore, are not led by disabled people. This project is unique: it is led by disabled people and is focused on careers. It has generated numerous role models and national radio and press coverage. It has used robust evidence to:

a) design a network responding to demand – numbers grew to 200 in one year

b) create a guide written by and for disabled people (not only in senior jobs) including stories, tips and aspirations. Its focus, which is not on barriers but on success and how to replicate it, has touched a nerve and brought in numerous partners.


United Kingdom



Liz Sayce
Chief Executive
Disability Rights UK
12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London EC1V 8AF, UK
Phone: +44 20 7566 0125

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