Evenbreak and Diversifying Group invite disabled candidates to an exclusive Webinar

disabled person working from home

​ Evenbreak and Diversifying Group invite disabled candidates to an exclusive Webinar hosted by Dr Shani Dhanda on remote working in lockdown and beyond. ​ London: 21st November 2023, Evenbreak, the world’s first global disability job board for disabled people and run by disabled people and the Diversifying Group is inviting disabled candidates to a thought-provoking webinar on Monday 4th December 12pm- 1pm. The webinar will be hosted by UK disability activist and the most influential disabled person of 2023, Dr Shani Dhanda. This collaborative event invites disabled people to hear stories from the panel about their experiences of remote working, lessons from lockdown and how they’re calling on leaders to make tangible changes to create truly inclusive workplaces that work for everybody. The webinar will also address the question, are we really in a post pandemic world when so many people are still impacted?  Employers can find out how they can better support disabled people in the workplace and will be asked if their working style is really inclusive, when it is only suited to the majority not the minority.    The webinar will offer:  Diversifying Group Founder, Cynthia V Davis CBE, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Evenbreak for this webinar, to bring our collective voices and lived experiences together to call for more inclusive working practices for all. I hope employers will come away more informed, inspired and ready to keep pushing for change.”  Evenbreak CEO, Jane Hatton, said: “Evenbreak has been working flexibly and remotely from home since 2011, long before the pandemic, and we still do so because it suits our team. We know that lots of organisations are responding to the post pandemic world in lots of different ways. We’re inviting those employers to come and have a discussion about the changing world of work.” Registration is free to Post Pandemic World, Opportunity or Illusion. Register your place here ​

Could homeworking work for you?

Homeworking advisor

The current Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis has brought homeworking into sharp reality for millions of office workers.  But is it a viable route into the workplace for many living with a disability?The idea of homeworking as an option for disabled people is nothing new.  Scope, for example, provides extensive support and advice https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/homeworking/ on the topic.  What has changed recently are two key things.  First, there’s now a massive focus on homeworking within the boardroom – both as a disaster recovery response should the Coronavirus close down transport links and force office closures, and as a longer term option on productivity/ cost grounds.  Second, the homeworking industry has moved on……. with more effective homeworking models, and a realisation within Corporates that homeworking is a ‘proper’ job, where people can develop rewarding careers.The contact centre sector is a case in point.  15 years ago, few companies considered it possible to run an effective operation using homeworkers because of a multitude of technology, HR and operational issues.  With experience, many of these HR and operational issues have now been resolved, and specialist virtual workplace tools – with virtual training environments, specialist real-time communications, and real-time management – today provide managers with real-time visibility of homeworkers so they can support and collaborate as required.    In the past, homeworkers were frequently either managers and top performing employees offered homeworking ‘as a reward’ or self-employed people required to create their own limited companies before supplying services.  Today, homeworkers are now more likely to choose to work from home and be more experienced.   Indeed, according to the 2016 UKCCF Contact Centre Homeworking Survey, 74 per cent of homeworkers are aged 35 or over, and 66% have over 10 years experience in customer contact roles.   They also come into homeworking for a wide variety of reasons – and our company is a good example. We currently have 700 fully-employed homeworkers who deliver services for Allianz, BUPA, Hastings Direct and others.  Amongst our people are work-at-home mums, many who find working in an office stressful, and others that are excluded from the normal workplace.  This includes people who live in rural areas or are simply too far from the office to commute, as well as many living with a disability.  Indeed we estimate that 18% of our colleagues have some form of disability, and a further 8% are carers to people with special needs.   The secret to providing excellent work-from-home opportunities is to ensure that everyone is treated equally and fairly, and that engagement, community and socialisation is part and parcel of the homeworking experience. Technology plays a key role here too, ensuring that teams communicate and interact efficiently and that working from home isn’t a solitary experience (unless someone wants it to be!) Implemented effectively and homeworking can provide not only a route back into the workplace but also a fulfilling career.  According to the UKCCF survey, 92 per cent of homeworkers say that they are happy (at least some of the time), and 72 per cent say they are proud to tell people where they work.  As for companies, 78 per cent of organisations employing homeworkers said they expected to increase numbers in the next 12 months. By Mark WaltonSenséewww.sensee.co.uk Sensée is in regular contact with organisations that support the disabled community, is a Purple Member, supports the Armed Forces Covenant, is Disability Confident Committed, and is registered with Employers for Carers. 

How to get a job with a disability – some helpful tips and tricks

Man working in a job with a disability

How to get a job with a disability – some helpful tips and tricks from Cascade  More often than not, people living with a disability are made to feel isolated from larger society, and that they can’t or shouldn’t work because of their disability.   However, there is lots of evidence to suggest that having a meaningful occupation improves both a person’s mental and physical health, alongside being invaluable as a learning tool to develop greater independence and a sense of responsibility.   At Cascade, residents are often at risk of being isolated from their local communities and the wider society due to misconceptions around people with autism, learning difficulties or mental health issues. Moreover, the team at Cascade knows only too well how joining the workplace can improve their residents’ lives for the better.   In fact – according to research by the National Autistic Society, whilst only 32% of people with Autism are in any form of paid employment, 77% of unemployed autistic people said that they wished to be in paid employment.   “Everyone deserves to live their lives in a way that they want to, as long as they are safe and not putting themselves at risk.” Simone Garland, Community, Social Inclusion Lead and Mental Health Nurse at Cascade, quotes.   “Awareness needs to be raised amongst employers to look past someone’s disability and see the unique individual with their own strengths and abilities.   “Finding meaningful occupations, whether through paid employment, voluntary or work experience, is important for a person’s mental wellbeing, providing a sense of purpose and inclusion.   “Through employment, a person with a disability may not only see improvements in their mental health, but also physical health outcomes, as meaningful occupations have been linked to better health choices.”   Ingrained in the Cascade ethos is a dedicated team of people who look at each individual in terms of what community activities they would like to participate in or to help them to find and maintain voluntary work in the local area.   Community and Social Inclusion at Cascade is built on recommendations from NICE – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and government guidance to promote community engagement with the view to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.   To help people with a disability on the road to getting a job, the team at Cascade has put together some useful tips and tricks: 1. Contact the employer prior to the interview to let them know if you need any specific requirements. This will demonstrate you are experienced in planning and thinking ahead. For example: 2. View your disability as one of your strengths. There’s no one in the world like you, you’re not just your disability, although it is part of you! If your Autism means you like things organised and tidy, why not use this as one of your strengths?   3. Know your rights – there are lots of legislations and regulations that protect your rights to have employment. Just a few include: The Equality Act 2010, Human Rights (protected characteristics), The Autism Act 2009.   4. Prepare for your interview. Get a friend to practice some common interview questions with you to get a feel for what your interview might be like. If you get anxious in new environments, you might like to write some answers such as what you think your strengths are, your previous experiences, any barriers you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them.   5. Think of reasonable adjustments you might need from the employer, and have these written down so you remember to ask them. Examples would include:   For more information about Cascade, contact: Simone Garland, simoneg@cascade-care.com.

New dates announced for Naidex 2020!

New dates announced for Naidex 2020!

Further to its announcement of postponement last week, the organiser of leading independent living show Naidex, is pleased to be able to announce the new dates of 9th and 10th November 2020. The event will take place at the same venue the NEC Birmingham and all tickets remain valid. This includes all events co-located with Naidex including Smart Home for Assisted Living, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home, Home Care Expo, Care Tech Live, European Neuro Convention, Medical Imaging Convention, European Oncology Convention and AI&ML Convention. Like many large event organisers, this has been a complex situation and difficult for everyone involved. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our exhibitors, speakers and partners for their messages of support. We very much look forward to welcoming you all later in the year. https://www.naidex.co.uk

Creating an inclusive company culture for those with disabilities

A group of people from an inclusive company - one with a disability - drinking and talking

Company culture is the foundation of any successful business, but it often gets a reputation of only being about the ‘cool’ and ‘quirky’ things you do in the workplace.  Talk about company culture, and people presume it includes bean bags, ping pong tables, and maybe even a nap pod. But company culture goes beyond the fun work perks. Company culture is the way your business behaves and acts that represent your vision and values.  By working on your company culture, you create a space where people and business can thrive together. Yet, company culture is one of the most overlooked areas of business.  In a study by Deloitte, 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important. Which means people are now more aware and switched on about how they wish to feel at work than ever before in our workplace history.  If you want to attract the best people and create innovative business, then a key feature of your company culture has to be inclusivity.  Inclusivity is the full and successful integration of a diverse range of people into the workplace.  While inclusive cultures may make a commitment to diversity, in particular, a truly inclusive culture indicates an environment where respect, equality, and positive recognition are all cultivated. In an inclusive culture, social differences, disability and ethnic differences pose no barrier to the employment experience.  To support you in building an inclusive company culture, especially for those with disabilities, here are a few key areas you can begin to work on.  Make Your Brand Relatable  If you want to show that your company culture is inclusive, then this also has to be demonstrated in your branding.  Unfortunately, many organisations say they are inclusive, but don’t action their values into their culture. This starts right at the point of branding.  The images and photos you create of your organisation and your service or product should represent your company’s culture.  One great example of a business doing inclusive disability well is the energy company Bulb. Over the past few years, they have not only included disabled people in their marketing materials, but they have also updated their business operations to be more user-friendly for those with hearing or eyesight impairments.  If your company culture is inclusive, show it. People want to be able to relate to the company they are working for, and believe that the company’s mission and values are something they can work towards.  Broaden Your Recruitment Strategy  When many organisations seek to recruit new people, it is easy to use a recruitment agency who can do all the hard work for you.  However, not all recruitment agencies are well-equipped to support you in building an inclusive culture, and they are not living and breathing your company values in the same way.  Alongside using a recruitment agency, look to build your own recruitment strategy that gives disabled candidates the opportunity to apply. This can be done by creating an inclusive careers page on your website and partnering with charities and support groups who can send job applications to potential candidates.  Enhance Your Remote Working Capabilities  A fundamental part of your company culture is the workplace environment, as this represents your values and vision in a physical sense.  As well as making your office and workspace accessible for those with disabilities, it’s also essential you look outside the office space and at your policies around flexible and remote working.  In some cases, those with disabilities may not always be able to make it into the office space, and therefore you need to have the most supportive remote working and flexible working practices to help people who may need extra support.  Remove Assumptions  If you’re just starting to build an inclusive company culture, it can be hard to know what’s the right or wrong thing to do. Even in regards to the language, you use around disabled people, or the expectations you have.  The unconscious bias is, unfortunately, what holds many employers back from building an inclusive company culture. But studies continue to show, the more diverse your business culture, the greater the success of the business.  To help ease you into building your inclusive company culture look to take part in workplace disability training for you and your team. There are many charities and foundations that offer this type of training who can help you to remove unhelpful assumptions and be able to create a culture where you understand the needs of disabled employees much better.  By Lizzie Benton, Founder and Culture Consultant at Liberty Mind Ltd.

Bereaved brothers in training for marathon in memory of mum

Tobi and Oscar are training for a marathon in memory of mum

Two brothers from London will take on their first marathon in a bid to fund the fight against the disease that killed their beloved mother.   Oscar and Tobi Kirby-Hogarty are running in the Brain Tumour Research Virgin Money London Marathon team, less than a year after the heart-breaking loss of their mum Lesley to the disease. Devastated by her sudden death, the siblings have already raised £10,000, which will help raise awareness and fund research into brain tumours – a disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.   Lesley Kirby-Klappholz, who lived in Twickenham for 25 years, was 63 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2019. Having finished a highly decorated career in education five months earlier, Lesley was looking forward to her well-earned retirement. Her professional life had spanned 38 years, which included 11 years of headship. Her first headteacher role began in 2007 was at Shene School in Richmond (now Richmond Park Academy).   Tobi, 25, founder and director of MKH Search recruitment business said: “I still remember to this day, when Mum decided to go for the job, she sat me and Oscar down and said, ‘I won’t get it; I’m one of 20 candidates and I don’t have enough experience, but I’ll give it a go!” How wrong she was! Mum’s continuous desire to take on challenging roles prevailed, and she took the position. The commitment and dedication we remember her by is, in part, our motivation for taking on this epic running challenge.”   Following a successful tenure at Shene School, in 2016 Lesley, a graduate of Bulmershe College of Higher Education in Reading, returned to Kingsley Academy (formerly Hounslow Manor), a school she had previously worked in as head of modern foreign languages (MFL). The school had been put in special measures and, once again, Lesley rose to the challenge.   Tobi, who lives in Clapham South, added: “As before, she loved the broad diversity of students and the challenge at hand. She retired from main-stream education following a tremendous career in which she fulfilled her professional aspirations and made an impact on the lives of thousands of children and the development of hundreds of teachers. She made so many friends and made so many people’s lives richer. We couldn’t be prouder.”   Lesley’s shock brain tumour diagnosis came after several trips to the GP, where she had been complaining of memory loss and change in character. She was told the symptoms were probably down to the fact she’d recently stopped working.   Oscar, 27, group sales director at ENGAGE Group Limited, said: “She had gone from having a really busy, responsible role to a much quieter schedule. We accepted the initial diagnosis but there were real moments of fear, as her memory continued to deteriorate and we wondered whether it might be early onset Alzheimer’s disease.   “On her fourth trip back to the GP’s surgery, she demanded a CT scan. I had no idea this was going on at the time. Then, one evening, I was out for dinner and I got a phone call from my dad to say she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. It came as such an awful shock.”   During the initial consultation with the surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital in Fulham, it was suggested that Lesley’s tumour, around half the size of a golf ball, was likely to be grade 2 and treatable. Because of its location, the medics were confident that they would be able to remove it. However, on 18 June, the evening before she was going into theatre, the family was given the devastating news that the tumour had spread and was now a high grade, butterfly-shaped glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).   Oscar added: “We were told that, at best, they would only be able to remove part of the tumour because of its size and spread. The aim of the surgery was to relieve the pressure in her brain. There would be no cure. This was about extending her life for as long as possible.”   Unfortunately, Lesley suffered a major haemorrhage during the surgery and contracted a virus. She came out of the operation completely comatose and her distraught sons were told she would only have 24 hours to live.   Oscar explains, however, that she went on to defy the odds: “The doctors were gobsmacked at the fight she put up. Her body was incredibly healthy. Eventually, though, she started to decline again and 14 days post-surgery they told us she would never recover. Her heroic fight with this awful disease ended on 8 July 2019.”   Now, just eight months on from the tragedy, Oscar and Tobi are hoping to make a difference by running in the iconic, world-famous event, which sees tens of thousands of runners taking on the 26.2-mile course through the heart of London. The televised event takes place on Sunday 26 April.   Oscar, who lives in Earlsfield, Wandsworth, said: “I’ve always wanted to take on this fantastic event in our home city and losing mum was the push we needed to sign up. A recurring theme in the speeches at Mum’s funeral and one of the defining features about her was her pragmatism. Her no-nonsense attitude was another motivating factor for our decision to take part and fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.   “We want to do something positive to channel our grief and, in doing so, raise money and awareness for this wonderful charity. When we were sorting through Mum’s paperwork after her death, we discovered that she was a regular giver to a number of different charities. We are doing the marathon in tribute to Mum and her charitable nature. It is one last, small thing we can do in her honour and to honour others suffering this horrific disease.”   Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns

Stroud man with learning disabilities makes gallery debut

A man with learning disabilities makes his gallery debut

An artist from Gloucestershire with learning disabilities is exhibiting his paintings this month at a Stroud gallery. Rob, who is supported by national learning disability charity Hft, will be showcasing 20 pieces of his work at Lansdown Hall from 17 March.  Painted in his trademark abstract style, the artist has coined his work as ‘upside down art’ as many of the paintings can be viewed at any angle. Inspiration for Rob’s art comes from religious architecture including churches and cathedrals, with particular focus on arches and stained glass. The 75 year old has been painting for as long as he can remember and is supported in his pastime by Hft staff at his supported living service in Stroud. The service, which was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2018, has an art room regularly used by Rob and his housemates. Support workers are on hand to provide encouragement and ensure people have access to the materials they need. One of Rob’s support workers even supports him to go on trips to exceptional churches and cathedrals in the UK, providing inspiration for his work. Rob’s art exhibition kicks off with a private viewing for family, friends and Hft staff and will be on show for a week, until 22 March. The artist is a regular visitor to the accessible venue, and regularly drops in to view the latest exhibitions. The chance to display his own art there came about after Rob enquired about opportunities to showcase his art locally. Rob said: “I’m very proud to have my paintings exhibited at Lansdown Hall. In the future, I’m hoping to do more exhibitions, sell my work and become better known as an artist.” Emma Bagley, Divisional Director at Hft, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased that Rob has been given the opportunity to showcase his talent to the whole community.  Rob has been supported by Hft for all of his adult life and we’ve loved being able to see him flourish as an artist over the years. His time to shine is finally here and we hope that other people are inspired by his creativity and commitment to his work. “Rob is one of 60 people in Gloucestershire who we support to live the best life possible. Having the chance to pursue your passions is hugely important, and we work hard to ensure people are able to live with more independence and choice. Rob’s success is testament to this and we’re so proud of him.” Hft currently supports more than 2,500 people with learning disabilities across the country. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.

Naidex 2020 Important Information

Naidex logo

We know many of you were planning on visiting Naidex next week, so we wanted to let you know that the event has been postponed – please see statement below. Naidex 2020 and All Co-Located Events Rescheduling Due to Coronavirus The organiser of leading independent living show Naidex (17th-18th March 2020, NEC Birmingham), has been closely monitoring updates on the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Like many large event organisers, the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors and staff is always our number one priority. This is particularly pertinent in the care and health sector communities that Naidex brings together.

Many of our visitors are, or are on the frontline of supporting, the most vulnerable in society. This combined with the fact that health and social care workers will be critical to ongoing containment and management strategies, means that we have taken the decision to reschedule Naidex to later in the year and will confirm this date by Monday 16th March 2020. This will include all events co-located with Naidex including Smart Home for Assisted Living, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo, Home Care Expo, Care Tech Live, European Neuro Convention, Medical Imaging Convention, European Oncology Convention and AI&ML Convention.

While this is not a decision that has been taken lightly, we feel that it is the right one – not just for the care and health sector but for the wider community as a whole. We are of course, in ongoing communication with our exhibitors, speakers, partners and suppliers. Those we have managed to speak to thus far have been exceptionally understanding. If you are affected and the team hasn’t managed to reach you yet, please know that we will be in touch very shortly. Alternatively, please contact the event team directly at Enquiries@ROARB2B.com or +44 (0) 117 990 2107.

 Thank you for your understanding and support and we look forward to welcoming you later in the year. Please click here to be taken to the Expo website for future updates on when the show will be held. 

Over 300 disabled young people to take over Tate Exchange for a festival of creativity

'I am marvellous' sign at the Tate Exchange Festival of Creativity

Over 300 D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse young people to take over Tate Exchange for a festival of creativity.‘I Am At Tate Exchange Festival’ will form part of the 2020 Tate Exchange programme at Tate ModernStudents and teachers taking part in I Am At Tate Exchange FestivalFrom 24-28 March, Tate Exchange will play host to over 300 D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse young people. Over five days, they will lead a variety of creative workshops, performances, and activities – showcasing their talents, opinions and ideas.Now in its fourth year, I Am At Tate Exchange Festival is a partnership between creative learning specialists A New Direction and over 30 special education settings from across London. The festival works to advocate for richer cultural opportunities for D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse children and young people, while making disability more visible in London’s cultural venues, and demonstrating that children of all abilities can play an active role in London’s culture.This year, the festival will explore the theme of ‘Power’ and will feature more student-led activity than ever before. Press are invited to join us for the opening day of the festival on 24 March, which will include: Students have also been working with a number of disabled and non-disabled artists in the lead up to the festival to create work which will be exhibited in the space. This year we will also be joined by a cohort of nine Festival Assistants, all of whom are on a work placement through my AFK – a national charity supporting disabled young people into work. The Festival Assistants will be supporting students throughout the week and engaging with the public.Our work at I Am At Tate Exchange is underpinned by the following themes: The festival is part of this year’s Tate Exchange programme – an ambitious ‘open experiment’ which allows other organisations and members of the public to participate in Tate’s creative process, running events and projects on site and using art as a way of addressing wider issues in the world around us.Steve Moffitt, A New Direction CEO, said:‘When we started I Am At Tate Exchange Festival four years ago, we were working with six schools. This year we will welcome over 30 schools into the space, and for the first time have been unable to accommodate everyone due to exceptional demand. This illustrates how important this work is and the appetite for what we’re doing. I’m hopeful that we will soon be seeing ‘I Am’ events popping up in more outstanding cultural venues across London.’Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern said:‘Spending time at A New Direction’s I Am Festival impressed on me what a truly wonderful initiative it is. Seeing so many young people – many of whom had not been to Tate before – having the time of their lives has been such an amazing and humbling experience. In a time where increasing numbers of students with SEND are being forgotten, projects like the I Am Festival are only becoming more vital, and we at Tate are immensely proud to play our part in it.’ For more informationPlease contact Jim Beck at A New Direction jim.beck@anewdirection.org.uk or 020 7608 8977 / 0788 580 7784To find out more about Tate Exchange please visit tate.org.uk/tateexchange.