Why inclusion and accessibility strategies are good for business

Niall Betteridge, Director, Enterprise Architecture at PwC.

Having a workplace culture of inclusion is a great first step to start employing people with disability. It is a way forward to securing valuable, long-term employees. JobAccess makes that achievable for all businesses.

Simon Lillis, Head of UX & Collaboration at PwC, says JobAccess has helped the organisation overcome the barriers faced by people with disability in the workplace.

“The first barrier is really about people’s awareness, and how they can help and play a part in being more inclusive. People don’t know what actions to take or what role they can play – it’s not a major difference in how we work, it’s just an attention to certain details,” says Simon.

Simon manages Niall Betteridge, Director of Enterprise Architecture at PwC. Niall has a hearing impairment.

“I’ve worked closely with JobAccess for ten years or so, which has made a huge difference on my ability to do my job properly,” says Niall.

“Communication is a big part of my role. A usual day consists mostly of meetings, both face to face and via video, with a variety of people that can often take up to half the day.”

“I’m very dependent on lip reading, so if I’m unable to see people, communication can be a huge challenge. Through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF), I was able to get a live captioning service for meetings and a larger iPad, which has been a great help,” says Niall.

The EAF provides people with disability and their employers free workplace assessments to identify reasonable adjustments. The workplace assessor will then recommend adjustments for an individual that are reimbursed through the EAF.

“I think it’s important as society becomes more inclusive to recognise people with disability, and realise that they can contribute just as effectively as their able bodied peers,” says Niall.

“For people with disability I’d say seek out those prospective employers that have proactive policies, and use JobAccess for support throughout the process.”

When employers hire people with disability, their organisation benefits. It’s important to have disability confident practices and procedures when hiring, so that people with disability know that they should apply and that they will be considered.

For Simon, there is still a long way to go – but it’s important that we start now.

“There are small changes we can make that are easy. We just need to do it, and keep reminding ourselves until it becomes normal. But there’s always more we can do,” says Simon.

For Niall, PwC’s active approach to disability employment and their support of their employees with disability has made all the difference.

“When I first joined PwC, I immediately noticed the maturity of their inclusiveness. I found that maturity made it much easier for me to do my job effectively and to work with my colleagues,” says Niall.

Don’t miss out on finding the best person for your job. There is plenty of support available for you to get started now.

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