Report Launch: Neurodiverse voices: Opening Doors to Employment – WACReport

achieveability logo

This is a groundbreaking report by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission.  We are proud to be associated and quoted with this important report for all sectors but particularly for us the Heritage, Arts and Cultural Sector.  It is also very timely with the recent release of which is timely to the ‘Making A Shift Report: Disabled people and the Arts and Cultural Sector Workforce in England: Understanding trends, barriers and
opportunities.’

Link to the full WAC report is here: http://www.achieveability.org.uk/main/policy/wac-report-is-released

NEWS RELEASE Monday 22nd January 2018

REPORT LAUNCH

Neurodiverse Voices:Opening Doors to Employment

Ground-breaking report on systemic barriers to employment

A ground-breaking report is being launched TODAY on Monday January 22nd by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) and then released into the public domain.

Over the period of a year, WAC has gathered evidence on systemic barriers to employment for millions of potential employees who are neurodivergent (i.e. dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic and/or with Attention Deficit Disorder). This significant study from the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission on Recruitment is aligned with the government’s stated aim of increasing the number of people with disabilities in employment, set out in the Improving Lives Green Paper (2016) and Command Paper (2017). There could be no better time to highlight the abilities and workplace support needs of the large neurodivergent population and point to better recruitment and retention practices, for the benefit of the national economy.

The resulting data has highlighted a widespread lack of awareness, failures in government support and workplace discrimination – but also many examples of good practice as most neurodivergent people are able and skilled – it is recruitment processes that disable them. All of this has fed into the Commission’s report.
The report launch on January 22nd will be followed by a second event, also in Westminster, on Thursday 25th
to celebrate the creativity of the neurodivergent community.

WAC recommendations include widespread awareness training, accessibility of written employment information and an end to inappropriate testing as part of the selection process. We call for the improvement of government support programmes and disability initiatives.

HEADLINES FROM THE REPORT

  • 43% of survey respondents felt discouraged from applying by job application
    processes.
  • 52% claimed to have experienced discrimination during interview or selection
    processes.
  • 73% did not disclose their condition during interview – of those that did, 58%
    regretted it, feeling this led to discrimination.
  • On-line job applications which don’t allow assistive technology and use of spellcheckers bar neurodivergent applicants from accessing jobs.
  • Employers are breaking the law (Equality Act 2010) when they fail to implement reasonable adjustments for disabled people

QUOTATIONS FROM THE REPORT
“My first few staff reports started with the words “this officer will never be suitable for promotion as he is dyslexic.”
“Employers cannot make reasonable adjustments if they do not begin from the premise of acceptance.”
“All psychometric tests are impossible for me, however in many cases I know I would be very good at the job and that these test don’t reflect my capabilities.”

Call For Abstracts: Founding a Community of Practice for Sensing Culture Through Inclusive Capital

Sensing-Culture

Founding a Community of Practice for Sensing Culture Through Inclusive Capital

Monday 26th – Tuesday 27th March 2018

University of Bath, Somerset, UK

Background to the Symposium

Sensing Culture is a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project that enables blind and partially sighted people to increase their independence through visiting heritage sites and museums. Sensing Culture is led by CultureLink South East, which is a partnership led by the Royal National Institute of the Blind with the support of a number of prestigious heritage organisations, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will conclude in April 2018.

Sensing Culture aims to increase independence by training staff and volunteers at partner heritage sites, so these stakeholders understand the impact of sight loss. This training focuses on ways of supporting visitors and positive learning experiences.

Amongst the methods of supporting visitors who are blind and visually impaired, technology, audio description and tactile panels are used to make sites more interactive.

The five external partners for Sensing Culture are:

  • Oxford University Museums
  • The Canterbury Cluster (Canterbury Museums and Galleries, Canterbury Library and Canterbury Cathedral)
  • Lewes Castle in Sussex, part of the Sussex Archaeological Society
  • The Conan Doyle Collection in Portsmouth, part of Portsmouth Council and Libraries
  • The Royal Pavilion and Museums across Brighton and Hove

The Theme

The theme of the symposium is founding a community of practice to engage professionals, volunteers and visitors who are blind and partially sighted to develop more inclusive heritage sites. The symposium will include the launch of a website based at the University of Bath, UK, which will host the community of practice.

Through discussion, presentations of good-practice, and critical engagement with barriers to inclusion, the community of practice will provide a legacy for Sensing Culture beyond 2018. We would therefore particularly like to engage with people who can contribute to this community of practice.

The symposium will work to develop inclusive capital in cultural heritage sites. Inclusive capital can be described as a sense of inclusion in cultural heritage sites, which is gained in four stages:

  • The first stage in this cycle is connecting and bonding with a network of people
  • The second stage is learning through networks
  • The third stage is collecting information that leads to access or knowledge through learning
  • The fourth stage is physical and virtual access to spaces and places where we can learn and gather new information, such as visiting or attending cultural institutions

Call for Abstracts

Your abstract should be brief and a maximum of 100 words – preferably fewer – and should include the theme of developing inclusion, that can form inclusive capital. Examples of presentations could be:

  • a project you have designed or run in a heritage site
  • findings from an evaluation of a project
  • experiences of visiting exhibits as a blind or visually impaired person
  • initial or substantial findings from research

We are particularly interested in receiving brief abstracts from people who are:

  • people who are blind or partially sighted with experience of museums
  • museum managers, administrators, professionals and volunteers
  • academics and students studying museum access
  • teachers (either in a museum or who engages with museums as part of your teaching)

The presentations will be 15-20 minutes, and incorporate 10-15 minute discussions. We particularly welcome on-going projects that can be enhanced through a discussion at the symposium.

The abstracts will be published on paper and on the new community of practice website. If the presenter wishes, we will also publish their presentation or a paper outlining their presentation on the website. We are also preparing a proposal for a special issue of a journal, and papers can also be considered for this special issue, if the author(s) so wish.

Abstracts should be emailed to s.j.hayhoe@bath.ac.uk and submitted by February 14th 2018.

 

University of Bath

NEWS RELEASE 15 January 2018: Neurodiverse Voices: Opening Doors to Employment

achieveability logo

Ground-breaking report on systemic barriers to employment

A ground-breaking report is being launched on Monday January 22nd by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) and then released into the public domain.
Over the period of a year, WAC has gathered evidence on systemic barriers to employment for millions of potential employees who are neurodivergent (i.e. dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic and/or with Attention Deficit Disorder).

This significant study from the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission on Recruitment is aligned with the government’s stated aim of increasing the number of people with disabilities in employment, set out in the Improving Lives Green Paper (2016) and Command Paper (2017). There could be no better time to highlight the abilities and workplace support needs of the large neurodivergent population and point to better recruitment and retention practices, for the benefit of the national economy.

The resulting data has highlighted a widespread lack of awareness, failures in government support and workplace discrimination – but also many examples of good practice as most neurodivergent people are able and skilled – it is recruitment processes that disable them. All of this has fed into the Commission’s report.

The report launch on January 22nd will be followed by a second event, also in Westminster, on Thursday 25th to celebrate the creativity of the neurodivergent community.

WAC recommendations include widespread awareness training, accessibility of written employment information and an end to inappropriate testing as part of the selection process. We call for the improvement of government support programmes and disability initiatives.

HEADLINES FROM THE REPORT

  • 43% of survey respondents felt discouraged from applying by job application processes.
  • 52% claimed to have experienced discrimination during interview or selection processes.
  • 73% did not disclose their condition during interview – of those that did, 58% regretted it, feeling this led to discrimination.
  • On-line job applications which don’t allow assistive technology and use of spellcheckers bar neurodivergent applicants from accessing jobs.
  • Employers are breaking the law (Equality Act 2010) when they fail to implement reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

QUOTATIONS FROM THE REPORT

“My first few staff reports started with the words “this officer will never be suitable for promotion as he is dyslexic.”
“Employers cannot make reasonable adjustments if they do not begin from the premise of acceptance.”
“All psychometric tests are impossible for me, however in many cases I know I would be very good at the job and that these test don’t reflect my capabilities.”

WAC Media Release 2018

Consultants and National Organisations

Disability Co-operative Network

Centre of Accessible Environments

CAE offers consultancy for access audits and accessible interpretation and guidelines particularly physical access as well as intellectual.

http://cae.org.uk

National Register of Access Consultants

The National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) is an independent UK wide accreditation service for individuals who provide access consultancy and access auditor services. It was set up with government backing to provide a single source for organisations seeking competent advice in relation to  inclusive environments and accessibility.

http://www.nrac.org.uk/

Assistance Dogs: Guidance

Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance for businesses and tourism:

EHRC have also published guidance to Assistance Dogs for tourism businesses here:
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/take-lead-guide-welcoming-customers-assistance-dogs

EHRC have published guidance to Assistance Dogs and all businesses here:
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/assistance-dogs-guide-all-businesses