Having a disability shouldn’t bar people from getting jobs, being trained or receiving good customer service.
As well as understanding the requirements of complying with anti-discrimination legislation, employers are increasingly aware of the importance of having a diverse workforce and the importance of being inclusive to attract and retain people with the skills they need. However, people with disabilities have an unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent compared to an unemployment rate for people without disabilities of 3.6 per cent (Disability Rights UK 2018).
Having a disability shouldn’t bar people from getting jobs, being trained or receiving good customer service. It’s in the best interests of any organisation to understand and respond positively, in practical and reasonable ways, to disability-related issues. Being a genuinely inclusive employer will benefit a local authority’s reputation and brand, impacting their ability to recruit great people and being attractive to customers.
How to talk about disability
- Video transcription
Top Tips for Disability Inclusion
Hi, I’m Rosie Clarke, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services at Inclusive Employers. And thank you for listening to this video with my top tips for disability inclusion as part of Disability Pride Month.
Tip number one: don’t be scared to ask questions. It’s ok to ask what term to use about someone, what their disability is, how they might need to be supported. Ask them questions. Most disabled people are more than happy to answer, particularly when you’re trying to include them.
Tip number two: if you are asking questions, accept that not everything about a person’s life they want to discuss with strangers or with anyone. So, if they say, I’d rather not talk about that, that’s absolutely fine. Just accept that and move on. No need to make a fuss of it or apologise, just move on.
And tip number three: Disability isn’t an unacceptable word. You can say a person is disabled. You can use the term disability. A lot of people try to use all the terms, like differently abled or words they find to try and avoid the term disability. These words can be quite patronising. And actually, what we need to do as a society is to embrace disabled people Recognise the joy that comes for some people being a disabled person. Its ok to say disabled.
Happy Disability Pride Month.
ACAS advice for supporting disabled people at work
This guidance includes:
- talking about disability at work
- how an employer should support disabled people
- managing a disability that gets worse over time
- capability and performance when someone is disabled.
The LGA gained their Level 3 Disability Confident Leader status in August 2018 and are taking an active leadership role in encouraging and helping other employers on their journey to becoming Disability Confident.
The LGA is a Disability Confident employer, and this means that we will act as a champion to encourage and support local authorities to become disability confident and demonstrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Disability Confident campaign
Nearly seven million people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition. There has historically been a large gap between the numbers of disabled people employed compared with non disabled people.
The Disability Confident campaign, launched in July 2013 by the Prime Minister, encourages employers to become more confident about employing disabled people and the term Disability Confident is increasingly becoming industry shorthand for best practice in disability employment.
Through the Disability Confident campaign, the government is working with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. Employers are crucial to improving employment outcomes for disabled people.
As we approach the third year of the campaign, the government is aiming to halve the disability employment gap. We're asking employers to tell us what disability confidence means to them and how they are working with their employees and networks to make their organisations more inclusive and accessible. And it doesn't have to be complicated - just ‘doing one thing' will make a real difference in helping disabled people into employment.
We're working together to:
- break down the barriers and challenge negative attitudes towards employing disabled people
- increase awareness and understanding of the business benefits and support available to recruit and retain disabled people
- offer real opportunities such as work experience placement for young disabled people or mentoring support.
Get involved by:
- visiting the campaign site
- telling us how you're making a difference: firstname.lastname@example.org
- joining the Disability Confident LinkedIn group.
Using the #disabilityconfident hashtag to promote stories through your social media networks.
Disability Rights UK
Disability Rights UK is focused on improving the employment chances of disabled people. They have a range of initiatives to help to achieve this.