Applicants with disabilities

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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hanbur
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Applicants with disabilities

Post by hanbur » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:55 pm

Hi

I wondered if anyone had anything to share about applying to the course when you have a disability?

Im particullaly interested in experieces of getting automatic interviews.. Im wondering weather to go down this route or not.

But any experiences at all would be helpful!

Feel free to PM me if this is easier.

Thanks!!

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joanner
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Post by joanner » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:28 am

Hi,

I was a bit confused about your idea about 'automatic interviews'. I know I was interviewed four years ago now but it wasn't my experience that interviews for people with disabilities was automatic! I got one interview in my first year of applying and three in my second year.

My experience of applying to the course was probably the same as a lot of people who don't have a disability. I didn't face any discrimination - either positive or negative.

I was open about my deafness and mentioned it on the personal statement bit of the form as I wanted to make sure that interviewers knew about it, not that it was ever mentioned by them.

So, an bit of an uneventful process for me, but then hearing loss is far more invisible than other disabilities so other people's experiences may differ again.

I don't know what your disability is but I would certainly be open about it though. Once you are on the course, you may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowance, which is very helpful as it means you have all the support in place to make things easier. This includes people with dyslexia too.

Good luck!

Joanne
Once you know it, you can't unknow it...

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Sastra
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Post by Sastra » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:54 am

I think hanbar is referring to the Two Ticks scheme whereby those with a disability are automatically interviewed if they meet the basic criteria for the course. It was set up to promote more people with disabilities applying and so to increase representation within the discipline (me thinks?!)
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein.

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miriam
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Post by miriam » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:59 am

Even with the disability tick, there isn't an automatic interview, although some courses might set the thresholds lower.

In the case of my AP shortlisting, we had 152 applicants who met the essential criteria, including 4 or 5 who ticked for disability. We only had capacity to interview 5 people maximum, so we couldn't interview all the ticks. I talked to HR and we decided that the most reasonable rationale we could use was to set a lower threshold for disabled applicants. So we decided that we would score all the ticks against the best 10% of other applicants, and interview any where the score was 2/3 of the score of the other interviewees we selected.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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hanbur
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Post by hanbur » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:56 pm

Thats interesting. Thanks Miriam- I had clearly misundertood about the three ticks scheme.

And also good to hear that others had a good experience at interview. :)

Actually knowing that there isnt an 'automatic' interview makes me feel better about ticking the disability box.. (would be nice to be measured on my own merits, but i do think the course need to be aware too!)

(Im dyslexic, dyspraxic and have CFS if this is relevent to anyone ellse)

astra
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Post by astra » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:02 pm

I think that entitles you to tick the disability box! Go for it, if you meet the minimum criteria for each course then they should offer you an interview. It gets you over the first hurdle at least, then you just have to shine on the day - I say just :wink: Doesn't make the process that much easier but it gives you a leg up, which when you've got a disability is a rare bonus!
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

citygirl
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Post by citygirl » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:48 pm

I read this with interest as I have been having the same thoughts for a couple of weeks now.

In my current job I applied and opted to take part in the two tick scheme - however at my interview I got quite a grilling about it and was advised that because i had my disability from birth and I had adapted well to it, despite having pain from it - i should not use the scheme again. I was quite surprised to get the job actually because they did not focus much on the job interview but rather on why i had ticked this.

So that experience has really put me off using the scheme again incase I shouldnt be using it or dont qualify for it. But in the same sense I want the course or future employers to be aware of it as i need adaptations made to a chair and it does take me longer to get tasks done etc.

So I am still debating with myself on using the scheme when applying for the course - if i do i will prepare myself for being questioned about it.

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joanner
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Post by joanner » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:57 am

citygirl wrote:I read this with interest as I have been having the same thoughts for a couple of weeks now.

In my current job I applied and opted to take part in the two tick scheme - however at my interview I got quite a grilling about it and was advised that because i had my disability from birth and I had adapted well to it, despite having pain from it - i should not use the scheme again. I was quite surprised to get the job actually because they did not focus much on the job interview but rather on why i had ticked this.

So that experience has really put me off using the scheme again incase I shouldnt be using it or dont qualify for it. But in the same sense I want the course or future employers to be aware of it as i need adaptations made to a chair and it does take me longer to get tasks done etc.

So I am still debating with myself on using the scheme when applying for the course - if i do i will prepare myself for being questioned about it.
:shock: I have to say that I'm quite shocked to read this. Surely that is discrimination! It is not exactly being 'Positive about disabled people', which is what the two ticks scheme promotes, is it?

I would be extremely surprised if any course interviewers questioned you in this way, especially because they are more interested in scoring you on the criteria of: 'Will this person make a good clinical psychologist and are they the right calibre for training?' rather than grilling you about your disability and eligibility for the scheme. If anything, we need more disabled psychologists in the profession as we're very under-represented!

So what if you've had a disability from birth? It's still a disability which impacts on your life, whether you've adapted to it well or not! Most people don't realise I wear hearing aids because I've adapted very well, but that doesn't mean that there are some situations which are difficult or impossible for me. Also, sometimes I may look like I'm coping well but they don't know the reality as I'm great at concealing it. Additionally, in an interview, as if you're going to put a negative spin on it and say something like, 'Oh, my disability is so awful that the pain means I can barely concentrate some days'! Probably the quickest way to get rejected! That is for Occupational Health to decide if you're offered the job.

I have used the two ticks scheme for pre-training jobs and have never been asked about my disability, just been interviewed like any other candidate.

I'm sorry to hear about your experience and hope that those narrow-minded and ignorant interviewers were not psychologists!

Joanne 8)
Once you know it, you can't unknow it...

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Loula
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Post by Loula » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:06 am

It's worth being aware that not all the courses are part of the scheme, for example on Manchester's page on the clearing house it says 'Please note that the Programme does not participate in the "Double-Tick" Disability Scheme.'

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Jessibelle
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Post by Jessibelle » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:18 pm

That is for Occupational Health to decide if you're offered the job.
Not in regards to the course... but OH clearance appears to be absolutely meaningless. I have now been rejected for two NHS jobs after receiving CRB, excellent references and Occ Health clearance, only due to my disability.

I have found this incredibly demotivating and it has really impacted on me. Considering that I am getting the jobs, so don't need to improve CV or interviewing technique, but then have them withdrawn DESPITE OH saying I am fit to do the job, feels like it is completely out of my control and something that I can't change is messing things up for me big time. My confidence has pretty much gone by now and it has left me feeling pretty 'useless'.

So my point being, doesn't actually matter whether you tick the box or not they can still discriminate all they want.

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Bubbly
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Post by Bubbly » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:19 pm

Just like you, in the past I was in a situation wondering whether I should tick the disability box or not, as I did not want to be guaranteed a job interview based on having a disability! I chose not to tick the box, and I got the job. However my disability started to affect me during this job, I ended up having to attend a discplinary hearing, and during this hearing I confessed on having this disability (Occup Health already knew!) and I remember HR having "a go" at me for not telling them at the interview that I had this disability. So I think it is important that if you do have a disability, tick the box!!! I don't have that disability anymore, actuallyl I guess I could say I'm recovering instead, so won't be ticking the box. They may discriminate you, they may not.

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hanbur
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Post by hanbur » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:20 pm

jessibell, city girl and Bubbly those experiences sound horrible. Ive also faced discrimination during a previous work placement and it wasnt nice at all.

It makes me think.. maybe we should be thinking about setting up a support network for prospective psychologists with disabilities?

What do you all think?

ps. Why dont Manchester do the two ticks scheme? I bet they miss out on lots of great tallent as a result!!

astra
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Post by astra » Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:14 am

Jessibelle wrote:
That is for Occupational Health to decide if you're offered the job.
Not in regards to the course... but OH clearance appears to be absolutely meaningless. I have now been rejected for two NHS jobs after receiving CRB, excellent references and Occ Health clearance, only due to my disability.

I have found this incredibly demotivating and it has really impacted on me. Considering that I am getting the jobs, so don't need to improve CV or interviewing technique, but then have them withdrawn DESPITE OH saying I am fit to do the job, feels like it is completely out of my control and something that I can't change is messing things up for me big time. My confidence has pretty much gone by now and it has left me feeling pretty 'useless'.

So my point being, doesn't actually matter whether you tick the box or not they can still discriminate all they want.
I don't really understand what has gone on for you here. It sounds blatantly discriminatory. Could you not have challenged it on DDA grounds? It sounds very unfair and demoralising.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

citygirl
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Post by citygirl » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:51 pm

This is certainly an interesting thread!

Having read that people have ticked the box and its not even brought up at interview now makes me feel that my experience at interview was "normal". I had no other interview experience so I just thought that it was normal for them to question you on ur disability. They also didnt put the things I needed in the office because on paper the job is community based but in reality it isn't - i do spend a lot of time in the office doing paper work etc. I have an interview coming up and I was preparing more so for the questioning my disability rather than the job because I got really caught out with that the last time.

Jessibelle - your sitation sounds so disheartening. Are the employers giving your justified reasons that you are not suitable for the job?

Rachel
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Post by Rachel » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi Citygirl

I ticked the box when I applied last year and got 1 out of 4 interviews. I had reflected on the form on my condition, and wasn't asked about this in interview, and I chose other examples for the questions I was asked. At the very end of the two interview panels, I waas asked the usual HR type of questions about the number of days absence I'd had from work, and whether I had an additional requirements for my disability. I didn't feel these questions were intrusive though.

From a work point of view under DDA your employer does have a requirement to ensure you have the equipment you need, even if you dont' use it 9-5, 5 days a week (i.e., a job that perhaps also involves working in the community). You are likely to be entitled to apply for Access to Work support (which may now be called Access to Employment?) - give your local jobcentre plus a call, and you can apply on the phone. I've recently just had another assessment as my equipment wasn't meeting my needs that well. The assessments and dealings i've had with them have been really good, and I've now got a wide range of equipment, some of which is lightweight & portable so that I can take it to meetings or out & about it necessary

Rachel

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