Did you know that the Assembly is a disability confident organisation?
To mark International Day of Disabled People, we wanted to let you know about some of the support that we have available for disabled people.
We subscribe to the social model of disability. The social model looks at the barriers erected by society in terms of disabled people being able to access goods and services. It seeks to remove unnecessary barriers which prevent disabled people participating in society, accessing work and living independently. The social model asks what can be done to remove barriers to inclusion. It also recognises that attitudes towards disabilities create unnecessary barriers to inclusion and requires people to take proactive action to remove these barriers.
To encourage applications from disabled people, we operate the guaranteed interview scheme for disabled people. This scheme guarantees disabled people an interview if they meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy. We will make reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates invited to interview.
For our disabled staff:
- Our staff policies are inclusive of disabled people. For example, we have a robust dignity at work policy to deal with inappropriate behaviour.
- We have an active disability staff network called EMBRACE, who provide peer support to disabled staff and help us promote disability equality. They also help us to consider the needs of disabled people when making decisions and designing policies.
- We provide a suite of disability-related training, including training that covers supporting disabled staff and visitors, deaf awareness and BSL training, autism awareness training, and dementia friendly training.
- We have an onsite Occupational Health Nurse and access to an Employee Assistance Programme that can provide counselling services to staff.
Here are some quotes from disabled members of staff about their experience of working here:
- “The willingness with which the Assembly engages with Embrace really makes me feel that it values my opinions and experiences as a disabled member of staff. I am proud to be a member of the network and feel that I am helping to make a real difference to the organisation and its staff.”
- “My disability has a massive impact on my mobility and affects my working life. The support I have received from the Health and Safety Adviser has been outstanding. They have provided me with equipment to make my working day less painful and therefore more productive. The continuing support I receive from them helps me to remain working and I am extremely grateful to them.”
- “I have been supported by the Occupational Health Nurse and have received counselling and stress management therapy through the Employee Assistance Programme. The Alexander Technique classes that have been arranged have also been extremely beneficial. Without all of this I doubt that I would still be working full time, if at all.”
For visitors, we ensure that our buildings are accessible and welcoming to disabled people.
- We have lift access throughout our buildings;
- Accessible parking is available;
- There are loop systems throughout our buildings;
- Our Front of House and Security staff have all undergone training on how to support disabled visitors;
- We have Autism Champions across the organisation to welcome people with autism;
- Some of our staff are trained in deaf awareness and British Sign Language;
- We have a range of toilet facilities available, including a Changing Places facility, with a bed and a hoist.
We also have outreach, education and youth engagement teams that meet disabled people across Wales to tell them about the work of the Assembly and to listen to their views on issues that matter to them.
We have received recognition from external organisations that celebrate our accessibility.
- Action on Hearing Loss has awarded us their Louder than Words Charter Mark for our commitment to supporting staff and visitors who are deaf or have a hearing loss. We also won their Action on Hearing Loss Cymru silver award at their Excellence Wales awards.
The National Autistic Society has awarded us their Access Award for supporting visitors with autism. We have a developed a webpage specifically for visitors with autism, trained Autism Champions and added de-stress toys to our quiet room.