Disability Employment Adviser – DEA

Focus on Disability - For Disabled People, the Elderly and their Carers in the UK

If you are disabled and need extra employment support, your local Jobcentre can put you in touch with one of their Disability Employment Advisers

Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) can help you find work or gain new skills
even if you have been out of work for a long time, or if you have little or no work experience

Services provided for disabled people

Your Disability Employment Adviser can offer you:

  • an employment assessment to identify what type of work or training suits you best
  • a referral, where appropriate, to a work programme for disabled people, like Work Choice or Access to Work
  • a referral, if needed, to an Work Psychologist for a more detailed employment assessment to identify the best work or training for you
  • a job-matching and referral service – the DEA can let you know about jobs that match your experience and skills
  • information on employers in your area who have adopted the ‘two ticks’ disability symbol.

Employment assessments

An employment assessment can help you identify your abilities and strengths. At the end of it, you and your DEA will have created an action plan of steps you can take towards achieving your employment goals.

What happens at the assessment

Your employment assessment will usually take place at your local Jobcentre. You will have an interview with your DEA, which is an opportunity for the two of you to:

  • talk about your skills and abilities
  • discuss any previous work experience you may have
  • agree what might be the most suitable job for you

As part of the assessment, you may be asked to carry out some practical tasks and written work. These tasks will be similar to common tasks involved in various types of work.

The assessment may take half a day or longer, depending on your individual needs. The DEA will discuss the length of your assessment with you beforehand.

After the assessment

You and your DEA will talk about your assessment and agree on an action plan to help you achieve your job goals. Your action plan may include training or taking part in the Work Choice programme.

An employment assessment does not affect your benefits. You can claim travel expenses for attending an assessment.

Useful contacts

Employment contacts

Below is a range of organisations, charities and support groups that offer advice and information to disabled people on employment-related matters.

Association of Disabled Professionals

Aims to improve the education rehabilitation, training and employment opportunities available to disabled people, and to help them participate fully in the everyday life of society.


EmployAbility is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting disabled people into employment.

The Business Disability Forum

The Business Disability Forum is an employers’ organisation focused on the issue of disability in the workplace.


Enham provides a range of services to enable disabled people with support to gain the skills and knowledge to enter and remain in employment.

The Prince’s Trust

Helping 14-30 year olds through training, mentoring and by providing financial assistance.

Rathbone Training

Rathbone Training educate, train and rehabilitate young people and adults who through financial or learning difficulties are unable to gain employment or who wish to further their education.


REMPLOY is the UK’s leading supplier of employment opportunities for disabled people, providing jobs and training.

  • REMPLOYNote: Proposed Changes at Remploy On 7 March 2012 the Remploy Board proposed a series of significant changes to its operations as a result of the Government decision to reduce current funding for Remploy.

Shaw Trust

Shaw Trust is a national charity that provides training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the workplace due to disability, ill health or other social circumstances.