Empowering disabled students

Can you disprove this? Experiences gained through student opportunities don’t help disabled students get a job



Disabled students – self-defining


Part A. Quantitative – build the argument

Survey 278 disabled students who have recently (<12 months) finished their studies.

If you can match respondents against membership records then you might know the answer to this question already, but if not then ask:

  • Were you an active member of a club and society while studying?

Then ask:

  • What skills and experiences from your time studying did you find useful to talk about in your application/interview process for a job?
  • If you have started as an entrepreneur (effectively creating your own job) or are going on to further study what skills and experiences from your time studying have you found useful towards this so far?
  • How many of the students who took part in clubs and societies found those student opportunities experiences useful in their job search? How does that number compare with the group who weren’t members, is there a significant difference?
  • How much do student opportunities factor in their responses?


Part B. Qualitative – how does your students’ union contribute?

Invite at least 20 disabled students who completed the survey to 1-2-1 or small group interviews. Try to build up a story of their time in student opportunities and how it affected their lives. Ask the following kinds of open-ended questions:

  • How did you get involved with student opportunities?
  • What did you gain from being involved?
  • How did it affect your studying?
  • How has it affected you after finishing your course?


Advanced questions

Can you repeat this with other liberation groups?

Can you find any evidence that, once in a job, disabled students’ experiences through student opportunities help them to sustain and thrive in the role?

Are there types of societies which make the most difference?



(If you develop a survey and/or interview template, please send it in for others to use