Over the years I have consulted on, written and implemented policies that support personalisation and disability equality. I have, alongside colleagues with like minded ideals, delivered training, written workbooks and created documents that support change to build a positive workforce that actively encourages and supports disabled people. And yet, disability inequality in the workplace is still rife.
Since starting Celebrating Disability, I have been to networking events and exhibitions and even spoken to people in the communal areas in my office space. When asked what I do and what Celebrating Disability is, I have explained that Celebrating Disability is a disability equality consultancy supporting businesses, education establishments and general interest groups to become disability confident. In turn, they can support disabled employees and customers to excel.
It bothers me that much too often people are responding with telling stories of discrimination in the workplace where they themselves or a colleague of theirs has been actively discriminated against for being disabled.
Too many stories in the news of discrimination
Businesses who are not strapped for cash and have plenty of resources to offer support. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the support a disabled employee needs does not need hundreds and thousands of pounds but on the contrary, is as simple as offering an employee a quiet place to rest, flexible working time or assistance in cashing up the till.
I can’t help thinking that this only reinforces the reason why Celebrating Disability and consultancies like it must exist. But it still leaves one unanswered question. Because the only people who are going to hire the services of disability equality consultancies are organisations with a positive attitude towards integration, inclusion and equality.
So how do we capture the interest of those who either do not see the aforementioned as an issue or do not care? I have been working closely with sales and marketing advisors to build brand awareness of Celebrating Disability – they have told me that people buy due to fear or greed. Is this the way to convince those businesses less interested to come into the light? The answer that is coming to mind is yes but my only wish is that it does not need fear and greed to convince somebody to do the right thing and treat people as equals. That may be naive on my part but at the same time I don’t think its unreasonable.
Esi (pronounced SE) set up Celebrating Disability in 2017; offering training, consulting and auditing to support businesses attract, engage and retain disabled people. Having the opportunity to support businesses to see the wealth of benefits that disabled people can bring to business, either as customers or employees is a privilege. She is passionate about disability equality and inclusion and loves nothing more than that “Ah ha” moment with a client when they see what disability equality and inclusion can do for them.