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Siddeqa and Sophie together and smiling

Disability confident employer logoAiredale NHS Foundation Trust has been accredited as a Disability Confident Employer, in recognition of their commitment to making employment opportunities whilst embracing disability.

Disability Confident organisations play a leading role in changing attitudes for the better and reaping the benefits of inclusive recruitment.

The scheme helps employers recruit and retain great people, to challenge attitudes and increase understanding of disability, whilst drawing from the widest possible pool of talent and improving employee morale by demonstrating fair treatment.

In the last 12 months the trust has re-launched the Enable network for colleagues with disabilities, created a new reasonable adjustments guide and toolkit and rolled out training for managers so they have the latest advice on how to support their staff.

The trust is also focussing on inclusive recruitment, making sure applicants are aware of what’s on offer to support them in the workplace, and explaining that if they meet all the essential criteria there is a guaranteed interview scheme, and that once in employment the trust supports staff with reasonable adjustments and an Adjustments Passport, so the adjustments are agreed and recorded in one place so staff don’t have to repeat the process if they move teams or departments.

The trust has also been actively involved in the supported internship programme with Keighley College.  The internship offers placement and job opportunities for students with learning disabilities, increasing their confidence and helping them gain fantastic people skills and experience, and for some resulting in a permanent job afterwards.

Sarah Heys, Wellbeing at Work Lead at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said:

We are proud to have been awarded this status because inclusion and diversity is at the heart of everything we do.  We are working hard to remove the barriers faced by disabled colleagues and helping them to thrive at work.

Often too people don’t think of themselves as having a disability, particularly if it’s invisible or in relation to their mental health, so it’s about raising awareness of what constitutes a disability.  It’s about sharing people stories, dispelling those myths and celebrating everyone.”