How to Make your Business Disability Friendly

There is no doubt about it, there is a major lack of people with disabilities being in paid employment.  As a matter of fact, only around 6% of paid employees have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  It is clear that the gap needs to be reduced!

But, how can your business become disability friendly and make it more open to people with disabilities?

The government accreditation of being Disability Confident is one of the easiest and most popular ways of doing this.

The scheme showcases that your business is proactive in promoting inclusivity towards people with disabilities throughout your business.  You would also become a leader within your sector in helping change attitudes towards those with disabilities.

There are three levels of becoming Disability Confident:

  1. Level 1 - Disability Confident Committed
    1. Agreement to the Disability Confident commitments and recognise at least one action that your business will do to make a difference to people with disabilities.  Some of the actions your business can choose from are:
      1. Offering work experience.
      2. Offering work trials.
      3. Paid Employment
      4. Internships (including Supported Internships).
  2. Level 2 – Disability Confident Employer
    1. Self-assess your business around two themes:
      1. Getting the right people in your business.
      2. Developing and retaining your staff.
  3. Level 3 – Disability Confident Leader
    1. Become a champion across businesses and local communities.
    2. The self-assessment from Level 2 has to be validated by someone outside of your business.  You will need to provide a brief write-up to highlight what you have done and/or will be doing in the future to help those with disabilities.  Finally, you will need to confirm that your business has employed disabled people and that you report on disability, mental health and wellbeing.

For all of the levels, you will receive a certificate and a badge for use across your website and other social media platforms for 3 years.

We understand that this may sound like a lot of work, but it does not need to be.  Level 1 is simple to obtain and is a brilliant first stage of showcasing your goals of being an inclusive business. 

Becoming a Disability Confident Employer can be as simple as offering work experience or joining a free Supported Internship programme.

Going up to Level 3 of a Disability Confident Leader is more work, but again, if you have already implemented some of the changes, then you are already ahead of the curve.  Also, if you sign up for a Supported Apprenticeship or Supported Internship scheme, and hire someone from one of those schemes, you have already ticked a box for one of the major parts of the criteria.

If this is something that you think your business wants to sign up for, then head to the government website to find out more information:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/disability-confident-how-to-sign-up-to-the-employer-scheme#why-you-should-become-disability-confident

We can help you too!

If your business signs up Forward2Employment’s free Supported Internship programme, we can help you in the process for all of the levels.  To find out more about Forward2Employment, please click the link below:

https://www.forward2employment.co.uk/supported-internships-employers

Forward2Employment is part of Fortis Trust who are accredited as Disability Confident.