Ability / Disability
What we do for Disability.
|We actively attract and recruit disabled people to help fill our opportunities.||Through our current arrangements with JobCentre+ & Department of Work and Pensions, we became a Kick Start Gateway and are supporting 78 jobs with our employers. Each employer has been sent details through a letter detailing how Access to Work can benefit people with a disability and help them adapt to the workplace. We have asked our employers to consider making adjustments to accommodate people with Disabilities.
When we first meet or make contact with individuals we send a pre interview checklist to establish any disability requirements or adjustments for us to consider.
We have developed a more accessible website where people may click on the access icon at the top right and adjust the settings to meet their needs.
When new employees begin their Kick Start work placement with us, we send them a welcome letter asking about whether there are any adjustments that need to be made for the group training and the individual sessions.
We are often contacted by the job centre to actively work with applicants who have a disability.
For all of our publicity literature and website we check font size, font style and make any adjustments. Interview questions are adjusted for example we may use audio where necessary.
We ask:Do they have any reading difficulties, comprehension issues or is there another style of questioning that we can do.
|We provide a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process.||We ask the questing around whether people can use stairs or need wide access for wheelchairs. Accessibility arrangements are considered and included within Risk Assessments where all reasonable adjustments are made.
CVs are currently received by e-mail. We follow this by telephone calls to ensure candidates are able to use Video Technology such as Zoom and whether any adjustments are needed to sound volume or visual information such as closed captioning.
Emergency contact details are completed by every new staff at induction which helps us to identify illness/disability and medication that we should be aware of so that we can support people as much as possible.
We send a welcome letter and brochure by post and direct people to our website for downloadable information.
Comprehension tests are part of the interview process and time allowance is extended by 15 minutes where candidates have identified learning disabilities or autism, if required.
Routinely nothing is less than 12point font size, suitable spacing in PowerPoint text and the use of visual images and Easy-read for visuals.
We currently process all applicants for jobs using virtual remote techniques and these interviews are on-line. Where required we send instructions of how to use Zoom, we have also produced video instructions on using Zoom.
Physical adjustments are made if required, including holding interviews on the ground floor at The Old School office in Watford and our other site in West Wing Studios, Luton.Informal interviews can also be held off site e.g. coffee shop or other fully accessible venues. We offer gas lift chairs with adjustable backs.
|Offering an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job.||Any person with additional needs meeting the required minimum criteria for the job will be offered an interview and individual discussions will take place around any reasonable adjustments that are needed.
A named disability staff member and Chief Executive work together to ensure ease of access and consider adjustments necessary.
We will ask, how long can you sit in a static position, we will check that you are able to hear clearly and adjust the volume. We have also lent speakers to learners when needed. We will the check the lighting is bright enough and for staff provide SAD lighting.
Within our individual plans for participants, discussions take place to incorporate questions within a recruitment pack. Information is sent prior to interviews to check any medical conditions or disabilities.
Enrolment forms are given out at an early stage of application to identify the need for any adjustments.
We match applicants to the job roles to ensure suitable candidates are chosen for the best possible outcome of both employee and employer.
A pre-interview questionnaire is provided to make the experience easier for individuals.
|We are flexible when assessing people so disabled job applicants have the best opportunity to demonstrate that they can do the job.||Reasonable adjustments as detailed above are conducted which also involves taking regular breaks during interviews if required for people including mobility, muscular or skeletal disorders.
Zoom facilities are in place to enlarge any documents shared as part of the on-line interview process.
We use clear English language and ensure understanding, variety and delivery styles will suit applicants and participants.
|We proactively offer and make reasonable adjustments as required.||Interviews are offered using gaslift chairs where in person and physically will be on the ground floor with suitable wheelchair width doors or if unavailable will be held in a public place that has suitable equipment.
Material is shared on screen for visual explanation of technical information and is sent by email where a comprehension test takes place.
Where a disability is identified, there is opportunity to enlarge text and extend time if required. Breaks can be offered during interview for those with identified disabilities. We explain the Access to Work scheme on an individual level and discuss this with the Jobcentre Plus if applicable.
We are currently providing Sound Speakers for training on specific projects, we provide closed captioning facilities when using Zoom training.
Rise-and-fall desks are made available for staff if needed through the Access to Work Scheme.
|Encouraging our suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident.||We are displaying the Disability Confident Committed logo on all of our communications (emails and letter headed paper) in large font format. We also use the Disability Committed Employer logo in the same way.
We raise awareness by having both logos on our website and we also have a disability page.
On all pages we have accessibility menu to allow people to make their own adjustments.
|Ensuring employees have appropriate disability equality awareness training.||A training log is held centrally and routinely updated to support all employees to have a greater understanding around disability issues. Some staff have participated in disability training.
Sharing and disseminating learning at regular opportunities such as team meetings and AGM.
All employees are able to identify the outcomes of any training taken and how this will be used in practice.
Induction training for new employees includes time with existing employees who have disability backgrounds & experience (currently four team members) and existing employees to take an active part in induction of new employees.
We discuss disability issues and challenges within our Community of Practice monthly staff team meetings.
The named lead member of staff for disability raises the issue of disability routinely.
One of our Directors has disclosed a disability so we also consider disability at every level.
We have taken part in DWP Disability Awareness training through Professor Amanda Kirby and have a Training Log, held in the office for personnel records. The disability named member of staff for disability identifies training gaps and maintains a record of training undertaken by staff.
|Providing work experience.||Some people with disabilities are getting the experience through our Kickstart programme.
We have changed one of the employer’s recruitments processes to suit young people when considering the application forms.
|Providing work trials.||We will offer the employers the opportunity of giving candidates a work trial for either 1 day or 1 week in collaboration with DWP. Discussions have already taken place to explore this opportunity called “Inclusive Kickstart Swap”.|
|We provide paid employment.||We provide paid employment for people with Disability and those without.
Our project leads offer additional support based on identified needs within an individual plan, tailored to the individual person.
|We advertise our job vacancies and other opportunities through Jobcentre Plus and media aimed particularly at disabled people.||We support people into work through our programmes on “Social Enterprise and Community Work”, “Social Prescribing” and “Neurodiversity in the workplace” projects. The participants may be over 50 years with additional support needs in Mental Health, Learning Disability, Physical Disability, Hearing loss and sight problems. They may also be those without disabilities who have a general interest in those fields.
We make all necessary adjustments, including discussions around workstation assessments, hearing and sight adjustments to allow all to participate and achieve successful outcomes.
We participate in Job centre events, specifically disability confident inclusive workshops and recruitment fairs.
|We are key partners to Jobcentre Plus and work extremely closely with Barnet Mencap and other local disabled people’s user-led organisations (DPULOs).||We are currently engaging with 16 Jobcentre Plus sites, we hold 23 individual Jobcentre Plus contacts within our CRM database and three specific named connections with Disability Advisors in Luton, Northampton and Watford.
We participate in Job centre Fairs and disability fairs. Promotional literature contains disability confident logos We work closely with:1.Barnet Mencap (Learning Disability and Autism)2.Staff placed within Bobath Centre (Learning Disability and Cerebral Palsy)3.MIND in Mid Herts
4.Herts Inclusive Theatre (Learning Disability)
5.Age UK Dacorum
6.Age UK Hertfordshire
7.Age Concern (Slough and Berkshire)
8.Hertfordshire MIND Network
|We provide an environment that is inclusive and accessible for staff, clients and customer.||We offer flexibility of location; available for meeting both virtually and face to face.
We also visit clients in their homes and conduct Risk Assessments prior to visiting.
Gas lift chairs are available and provided to staff and clients if required.
Seasonally Adjusted Depression (SAD) lights have been provided for all employees.
Wireless earpiece and microphones have been provided to all training staff so mobility is easier and this enables them to move away from VDU screens whilst delivering training.
Office Lighting is low energy (LED)
Speakers are provided for learners, to aid with hearing.
We add closed captions/Live transcript to Zoom presentations to assist those with hearing difficulties.
Staff are consulted about their home working arrangements. Workstation Assessments are underway as people have been working from home during the pandemic.
We have secured a grant to enable us to offer ground floor office meeting space so that people with mobility and wheelchair needs can have access.
|We offer an innovative experience to encourage disabled people to apply for opportunities and enable them to make their own adjustments.||We have an accessibility menu to the top right of every webpage as an easy click icon to allow font size changes, additional spacing, changes to the contrast and dyslexia friendly adjustments.
Windows speech recognition is enabled on all the work computers.
|We promote a culture of being Disability Confident.||Staff training/development log is held in the office to evidence the disability training completed as well as identifying gaps in staff training needs. Disability and access issues are discussed within Team Meetings.
There is an agenda item on Disability, sharing good practice and discussing improvements at team meetings.We continuously develop our ability to work more closely with disability individuals and groups through a process of continuous professional development.
|We support employees to manage their disabilities and/or health conditions.||We hold emergency contact details for all learners, volunteers and staff. This is established at induction and held securely for all staff.
We encourage staff to schedule meetings with sufficient time and space between each to allow reflection, recording and time away from computer screens.Our health & safety policy details the support available for staff well-being.
Emergency contact details are held for all learners when on site, face to face training takes place and for remote training in the event of someone being taken ill.
All staff are consulted about current home/working arrangements and best practices are shared.
|We ensure there are no barriers to the development and progression of disabled staff.||Three staff have Disability backgrounds at Management, Chief Executive and Chair of trustee level and a high level of knowledge relating to disability which is cascaded to all staff. All staff are encouraged to apply for positions internally and given support.
Reasonable adjustments are made where the disability needs are identified for example during the pre-interview questionnaire.
All staff including people with identified disabilities have opportunities to grow within the organisation through open discussion.
|We ensure managers are aware of how they can support staff who are sick or absent from work.||There are opportunities for staff training and development in addition to open communication channels so staff who are sick or absent can discuss their needs fully with managers.
We have a Mentoring programme where staff have the opportunity to reflect on current practices, to raise questions and to be listened to, during 10 x 1-hour sessions. In addition, we have further monthly mentoring “Community of Practice” sessions to discuss issues or concerns in a peer-to peer environment with mutual respect.
Employees who are off long term sick have been guided through the Statutory Sick Pay Process documentation.
|We value and listen to feedback from disabled staff.||There are regular opportunities for discussion at an individual level and as part of a team meeting and AGM so that feedback is shared with all employees.
Daily Team Briefings take place to review progress from the previous day and agree workloads for the coming day.
Monthly larger Team Meetings take place with the whole team.
Where meetings are scheduled for more than 1 hour, we have breaks so that people can take comfort breaks etc and make adjustments.
Workstation environment is checked to take into account any health conditions e.g. gas lift chairs or rise and fall desks.
|We review this Disability Confident employer self-assessment regularly.||Involvement in contributing to this at an individual level and ongoing is part of the team meetings and AGM discussions.
Our named Disability Lead brings this document to the teams attention annually (preferably at the AGM).
|We provide mentoring, coaching, buddying and or other support networks for staff.||Delivery staff have received 10 hours of 1:1 mentoring in addition to 10 hours mentoring as part of Community of Practice.
Staff training and development logs are used to identify further support and training needs around disability.
|We include disability awareness equality training in our induction process.||Induction Schedule includes opportunity to meet and discuss with existing team members with experience and skills in disability awareness (currently three project team lead members of staff).
Disability awareness is presented within the training that is delivered to learners or training opportunities (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy with implementation Plan).
|We guide staff to information and advice on mental health conditions.||We are developing a resource library; which includes literature on anxiety, neuro conditions, autism and environmental issues. Currently there is a good knowledge sharing of disability issues between team members.
Enabling discussions within team meetings and AGM, together with references to useful resources.
We have Mental Health First Aid trained staff within the team.
One named member of staff takes the lead on Mental Health.
|We provide occupational health services if required.||We are members of the Chamber of Commerce and have access to Occupational Health Support, if required.
Health Insurance options are reviewed within Directors meetings.
|We identify and share good practice.||Team Meetings take place with a regular agenda item on disability issues and at the AGM where good opportunities to share between staff already exist.
There is a regular item around disability on the agenda of Directors Meetings.
Strategy and planning are linked to the Charity Commission Governance Code V4 specifically on inclusion and diversity.
|We provide human resource managers with specific Disability Confident training.||Chief Executive is CIPD trained in Advanced Employment Law and acts as our Human Resource Manager.
Several members of staff have undertaken the DWP Disability Committed training online and have specific Disability experience.
A distributed leadership model allows all staff to oversee all disability confident activities including self-assessments.
Chief Executive and named Disability member of staff ensures information cascades within the organisation.