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The journey to disability friendly: All you need to know to become a disability confident employer


Hosted by J.P. Morgan

Taking the first step on any new journey is always the hardest and this is never truer than when starting your disability confidence journey. The ‘Journey to Disability Friendly’ workshop provided delegates with an introduction to the subject of disability in the workplace and the key areas that need to be considered in order to become disability confident.

The workshop was run by Helen Cooke, Director of MyPlus, who started by asking the delegates to consider what was covered under the term ‘disability’. The question ensured that everyone was aware just how broad the term was and the huge number of conditions it encompassed.

Helen then moved on to talk about the business case for being disability confident emphasizing that every organisation’s business case will be different depending on why disability is important to them. Disability may be important to an organisation for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to:

·         It’s the right thing to do

·         The recruitment and retention of talent

·         Competitive advantage

·         Corporate image

·         Complying with legislation

Another key area that employers must include on their ‘journey to disability friendly’ is that of understanding the challenges and concerns that disabled individuals may have as they apply for jobs, navigate the recruitment process and join the workforce. Helen emphasised the importance of understanding such concerns in order for employers to be able to address these in their marketing messages, and also to ensure that they provide the relevant support both during the recruitment process and once the individual has joined the workplace.

Next, the delegates were asked to consider the subject of openness (often referred to as ‘disclosure’) and what the benefits of being open were to both the employer and the individual.  There were also discussions and debate around how employers can effectively encourage individuals to be open about their disability in order to gain the support they may require.

The final session of the workshop focused on adjustments and the steps that recruiters need to take when implementing adjustments and providing support during the recruitment process. After encouraging the delegates to work through a number of scenarios where adjustments were required, Helen drew on her expertise to share what ‘best practice’ looked like in this area.

By the end of the workshop, the delegates expressed feeling more knowledgeable about disability and how to provide support, and confident to engage in the conversations needed in order to provide support. Some of the key take aways included the importance of engaging in conversation, not making assumptions about a person’s ability or requirements and the need to educate individuals on the benefits of being open about their disability if they are to be encouraged to be so.

Our next MyPlus Recruiters’ Club event is a Breakfast Seminar taking place on the 4th December. A number of individuals will share their personal experiences of living with a disability and how they manage this in the workplace. The aim is for individuals to build their knowledge about disability and to gain a better understanding about how adjustments and support provided in the workplace work in practice.

For more information on this event and other forthcoming Recruiters’ Club events have a look at our events page