“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning” – Benjamin Franklin
12th December 2018
Hello and welcome to this week’s blog, the last for 2018. I can’t believe it’s been just over a year since we set up the blog. We’ve managed to post at least once a fortnight thanks to the support from colleagues and students, particularly those on placement with the Team. I think it is fair to say that they have written some of the most emotive and engaging posts. I also want to say thank you to all those of you who have followed us since last November, and all your positive comments.
This week we have another guest blogger. Megan, on a student placement within the Equality and Diversity Team. Her passion is disability, the focus of this week’s blog.
You probably know that UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is well underway; there are lots of exciting things happening right now in celebration of the rich and diverse history of disabled people. It is an annually occurring event celebrating disabled people and offering a ‘platform of focus’ to the history of struggles for equality. 2018 marks the ninth year this month of celebration has occurred.
UKDHM runs from the 22nd November through to the 22nd December. It covers prominent days including: HIV/AIDS Day (1st Dec), International Day of People with Disabilities (3rd Dec) and International Human Rights Day (10th Dec). The focus of this year’s Month is ‘Disability and Music’. Music is a great tool for making connections. It can be about challenging the barriers put up against disabled people; it can be about exploring the creative power of self-expression; all of these things are so important and powerful for disabled people.
Keep an eye out for our tweets raising awareness about some of the many famous disabled musicians!
Alongside this month, almost perfectly, we have a particular piece of work-in-progress.
We achieved the Disability Confident Employer (Level 2) status in February 2018. Now we are looking at how we can move forwards and attain Disability Confident Leader status (Level 3).
Disability Confident is a scheme designed to support businesses to recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions. It helps businesses see their skills, talent and contributions to the workplace and not just any potential barriers.
There are several steps to become a Disability Confident Leader (Level 3):
Completing a self-assessment validated by an outside organisation;
Getting agreement from an external validator regarding our evidence and assessment; and
Recording activities, we have taken or are taking in support of being a disability confident leader.
Having achieved Disability Confident Employer status, we benefit from employing from the widest-possible pool of talent.
At the University, we are currently identifying our next steps, including seeking a validator for our self-assessment, and undertaking a gap analysis. This analysis will inform our actions and work towards obtaining the status of Disability Confident Leader in 2019. Progressing to become a Disability Confident Leader, will make us a champion for Disability Confident within local and business communities, are reputation we are keen to achieve.
More information on Disability Confident can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-confident-guidance-for-levels-1-2-and-3
More information on UK Disability History Month can be found at: https://ukdhm.org/