Co-owning a company we have been able to encourage people with different abilities to join our team and have become “Disability Confident Employers”
It is so important to make sure that people with any disability, or ability as we like to say, can access employment.
We recognise reasonable adjustments, but it’s attitude that makes a difference. Approach and attitude, understanding and being creative and innovative.
It’s a team approach and requires people to have the skills that are easily achievable , like treating people with dignity and respect and just supporting each other as all colleagues would and should do anyway.
Often we see employers recruit staff with a disability and have policies and procedures in place that are robust in writing with clear mission statements and a good ethos in place. This is in adherence to the law but also through choice.
In reality implementing the ethos is hard to achieve if not all employees in a company are educated in the expectations of true equality and diversity and don’t fully understand the different ways a person can achieve success in employment.
I’ve witnessed employees struggle to understand why someone has more breaks away from the desk and fail to recognise that stood photocopying during this break away from the desk is a way of encouraging movement , change of task when there are concentration difficulties, or use of dim lights when sensory sensitivities are present. It becomes a discussion topic within a team leading to negative thinking. Someone who cannot go long lengths of time without food due to medical needs, or needing to visit the toilet more regularly. All examples of needs that can be easily met but again if not understood or accepted can lead to negative feelings. Almost like people are treated differently. This is reasonable adjustment but is being given opportunities that meet their needs and do recognise difference. Recognising individuality and difference is part of equality and diversity and the goals met but the journey approached and facilitated in ways that meet the needs of the employee and the company.
Being able to recognise the problems and attitudes is vital.
We see our children and young people often struggle to adjust, to cope and to aspire to be what they dream to be. From an early age it’s important to always empower and Instill belief and self esteem in our children. Encouraging creativity and them reaching goals. Bashing down the barriers and offering guidance to remain enthused and motivated.
As an employer it’s important to show children and young people that there is hope and there are employers who embrace individuals and recognise skills and abilities.
More information and awareness for all employees and for them to be empowered in how they can embrace a team and be part of a team.
It’s more than saying that as a company we meet the legislative requirements … it’s showing it, actioning it, believing it and embedding it naturally.
If anyone needs support or advice or guidance we can share this and ensure opportunities remain open for all.