By asking the following questions you will get an idea of where your organisation is now in relation to your policies, your people and your properties.
For each the questions, you will need to provide
- an answer to the question
- an action that you will need to take as a result of your answer
a) Does the organisation have a policy statement specifically for disabled staff or are disabled staff included in the equal opportunities policy?
b) Does the policy make a specific statement of equal opportunities for disabled people and does it show the commitment of the Executive of the organisation?
c) How is this policy statement publicised and how are staff aware of its contents?
d) When was the policy last reviewed?
e) Does the policy acknowledge the provision of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995?
f) If your organisation has no policy in relation to equal opportunities for disabled people, why is this so?
g) Do the policies and procedures of the human resources or personnel function, including those of your occupational health department, adopt and reinforce the Executive Statement?
h) Where no Executive Statement exists, do the policies and procedures adopt and reinforce a positive attitude towards the employment of disabled staff’?
i) Do they encourage disabled staff to declare their disabilities under cover of confidentiality?
a) Is there a disability awareness programme to provide information to your employees and agents of the commitment of the organisation to the reasonable adjustment provisions?
b) Does this programme outline their own responsibilities in relation the reasonable adjustment provisions of the Act?
a) Is information available regarding the structure of premises and the availability of facilities for use by disabled staff, e.g. access and egress to the premises, rest facilities, lifts, etc.? In other words, has an access audit been undertaken?
a) Do the recruitment procedures offer equal opportunities to disabled applicants? For example, are access, language and media issues addressed and are the questions asked during application, interview and health enquiries pertinent to the job?
5 Career Development
a) Does the appraisal system support disabled staff in a way equal to non-disabled staff?
b) Are opportunities for development made available to disabled staff through the use of accessible media?
a) For staff who already have a disability, or acquire a disability during their working lives, does the organisation consider implementing any of the items listed in the key words in order to support these staff? (see Guidelines for an Internal Review)
a) Do disabled staff have full access to training both from a physical point of view, and in relation to communication issues, i.e. can disabled staff get to training venues and enter them; are effective communication media used to publicise opportunities for training and during the provision of training?
8 Staff Involvement
a) Are disabled staff represented in the groups that are involved in the creation and development of policies and procedures, e.g. focus groups, committees, etc.?
b) Are the same opportunities available to disabled students with regard to work experience as are available to non-disabled students?
9 Reasonable Adjustment Assessments and Implementation
a) When assessing the need for reasonable adjustments are the disabled staff who require them included in the process?
b) With regard to budgetary requirements, have financial provisions been made?
c) With regard to the decision making process, has responsibility been given to appropriate staff and have these responsibilities been communicated to them?
You should now consider your responses to the questions posed above. You will then have a better understanding of how your organisation approaches the issue of disability discrimination. It is through becoming positive about disability, that organisations will become more open to providing reasonable adjustments.
This questionnaire relates to an article in Occupational Health magazine, November 04, Vol: 56 No. 11