This piece was originally published on Muscular Dystrophy UK’s website on September 26, 2018.
On Saturday September 22nd the Moving Up project hosted an Employability Event at Amnesty International International Secretariat. The event brought the Young Disabled People’s Working Group on Employment and the London Employer’s Working Group together to talk about disability in the workplace. There was great discussion which gave both groups the opportunity to learn from each other and ask honest questions on how they can narrow the disabled employment gap. We held a one hour Facebook Live Stream to allow those who couldn’t attend to be part of the conversation.
Some of the employers included Transport for London, Inclusion London and Ambitious about Autism who all are committed to creating a more inclusive workforce. The young disabled people represented a wide range of disability, from invisible to wheelchair users, which allowed employers to understand that an inclusive workplace needs to be considerate towards many needs.
Each attendee brought a unique perspective on the barriers they have encountered either personally or trying to support others into work. There was a lot of interesting discussion around the topic of disclosure of disability during the recruitment process.
Sian Williams from Inclusion London who attended the meeting said:
It is vital that we change the culture in organisations to make them more accessible to, and inclusive of, Disabled employees. Bringing together Disabled people and employers to have conversations about what needs to change is one way of moving towards this goal.
Stephanie Malin from Transport for London said:
The Employability event was a fantastic opportunity to engage and understand the frustrations that disabled people face when applying for jobs or requesting reasonable adjustments at both interview and when in the role. TfL will use this information to effectively inform, develop and deliver our strategies, services and programmes. Many thanks to Emma Vogelmann for being a great host and we look forward to similar events in the future.
Andrew Robertson who represented young disabled people commented:
It was great to see some very large employers attending and actively contributing to the discussions on the challenges disabled people face in getting into employment. After the event it left me feeling very positive and hopeful that there are employers out there who care about inclusion within the workplace.
Employability Officer Emma Vogelmann who ran the event commented:
I could not be happier with how the day went. It gave employers and young disabled people a platform to have an honest discussion and to learn from each other’s experiences. This is exactly what I hoped the event would be and I was so pleased we could do the Facebook Live Stream to include as many people as possible.
If you would like to watch the Live Stream it is available on our Facebook page. To find out how you can get involved in the Employability project please contact Emma on email@example.com