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If I become disabled, what about future employment?
Permanent disability need not be a bar to future employment (see our Disability Rights section for more information). Jobcentres have specially trained disability employment advisers (DEAs), offering advice on:
- alternative work options with an existing employer;
- adaptations of the workstation and workplace, including funding towards costs (in particular, your employer may be able to access advice and funding for adaptations via the Government's Access to Work scheme);
- recommending or providing individuals and firms with special aids and modifications; and
- training in any new skills required.
Remember that your employer has a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to help accommodate your disability.
As well as the general obligation to provide reasonable adjustments, there is now a specific obligation to take reasonable steps to provide 'auxiliary aids' – such as adapted telephone or computer equipment, or text-to-speech software – or auxiliary services, where someone else is used to assist the disabled person, such as a reader, a sign language interpreter or a support worker.