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Equal Opportunities and Diversity Articles

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Participants identify how equality provides the opportunity for every individual to participate and fulfil their potential by eliminating prejudice and discrimination, and diversity recognises and values each persons individuality.

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Disability Equality - 10 Tips for Trainers

Article Overview:
In the first of three articles looking at Disability Equality issues, Rick considers the impact of disability discrimination legislation on trainers, and offers ten tips for consideration. Rick is an expert in the area of disability equality and is licensed as a trainer by the Disability Rights Commission.

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Article Overview:
In the first of three articles looking at Disability Equality issues, Rick considers the impact of disability discrimination legislation on trainers, and offers ten tips for consideration. Rick is an expert in the area of disability equality and is licensed as a trainer by the Disability Rights Commission.

Opening Words:
It is important that trainers consider the needs of disabled participants who may form part of the audience during training. To get us all started on thinking about this important issue, here are ten top tips, provided by Rick Williams.

1. One in eight people who work are disabled and will be represented in your audience – even if you don’t notice.

2. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires you to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the way you work in order to ensure that disabled people have equal access to the training you provide.

3. Ensuring equal access means overcoming barriers in a number of areas with reasonable adjustments being considered for a range of reasons - not just in the physical environment and the information you provide, e.g., dealing with attitudinal and sensory related issues.

Useful Reading For:
All trainers and managers.

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Diversity and Fruit Salads

Article Overview:
In this article, Joanne Barnfather takes a look at diversity in the workplace and asks the question, “How do we create an inclusive and supportive business culture, leading to profitability?”

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Article Overview:
In this article, Joanne Barnfather takes a look at diversity in the workplace and asks the question, “How do we create an inclusive and supportive business culture, leading to profitability?”

Opening Words:
We have all heard or read the definition of ‘TEAM’ – ‘Together Each Achieves More’.

We live in a world dominated by iPods, iPads, iPhones and irobots. I realised, one day when working with a difficult group, that we need to add to the definition of ‘TEAM’. We need to focus on the ‘iTEAM’. Because, no matter what we do, if ‘I’, the individual, is not committed at the beginning, because they feel left out, unappreciated, or misunderstood because they are ‘different’, then ‘TEAM’ will be far more difficult to achieve.

In business we need to support and be supported by many different people.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone interested in creating a work environment where all people, regardless of race, ethnic group, language, gender, age, ancestry, marital status, social-economic or educational backgrounds, will demonstrate respect and insight for one another, enabling them to work better as a team.

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Employing Disabled People - The Business Case

Article Overview:
In this, the second of three articles for Trainers' Library, Rick Williams considers the business case for employing disabled people. Disabled people are nearly seven times more likely to be out of work. Rick looks at the reasons for this, and highlights the reasons for being more proactive in attracting disabled people as an employer.

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Article Overview:
In this, the second of three articles for Trainers' Library, Rick Williams considers the business case for employing disabled people. Disabled people are nearly seven times more likely to be out of work. Rick looks at the reasons for this, and highlights the reasons for being more proactive in attracting disabled people as an employer.

Opening Words:
Bob Niven, Chief Executive of the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) recently said that “. . some employers are beginning to recognise the business case for employing disabled people. On the other hand, there is a gap between aspirations and intentions - that is, in translating policies into practical workplace procedures.”

The 2001 Managing Disability At Work survey of more than 200 employers found that few went beyond simple approaches to employing disabled people. For example, whilst 72% had a policy on employing disabled people only 40% had a system to monitor it. There also appears to be a gap between the attitudes of HR professionals and line managers. The former can introduce a policy of employing disabled people but the line managers, who have to implement it, don’t necessarily see things the same and often resist employing disabled people by using a range of tactics, e.g., citing health and safety as a problem.

Useful Reading For:
Managers and recruitment personnel.

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Equal Opportunities for Disabled People - Making Policies Work

Article Overview:
In the third and final article in the series, Rick Williams argues that although many organisations now have internal policies in place to help them meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, this hasn't solved the problems. He looks at what must be done to make policies work.

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Article Overview:
In the third and final article in the series, Rick Williams argues that although many organisations now have internal policies in place to help them meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, this hasn't solved the problems. He looks at what must be done to make policies work.

Opening Words:
Since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, it has been illegal for firms to discriminate against current or prospective employees because of disability. There are a few exemptions (most of which are due to be withdrawn in 2004 along with the small firm’s exemption).

Many, although not all, large and medium organisations (both private and public) have approached the DDA’s requirements by drawing up internal policies aimed at ensuring that its practices and procedures comply with the Act’s requirements. However, having the policies doesn’t seem to have solved all of the problems. This is demonstrated by a range of indicators which in themselves may not be conclusive, but taken together show that things are not as far forward as perhaps they should be some eight years after the Act was introduced.

Useful Reading For:
Managers and recruitment personnel.

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Vital Leadership in the Twenty-First Century

Article Overview:
To succeed in today’s world, Mike and Caroline Baghsaw argue that an organisation has to become a complex adaptive system, operating through core principles that nurture flexibility and innovation.

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Article Overview:
To succeed in today’s world, Mike and Caroline Baghsaw argue that an organisation has to become a complex adaptive system, operating through core principles that nurture flexibility and innovation.

Opening Words:
At the dawn of the twentieth century, most organisations relied on large numbers of people working together in the same building. The young started at the bottom, and the most able would, with experience, become the leaders. It worked well in the context of stable technology. The bosses could predict future needs well enough to make quite detailed plans, including the duties of employees. These could be structured into career ladders, plus a pension, to reward good workers. "Good" meant co-operative. They didn't want bright ideas from low down the ladder. The boss looked after good workers, and the workers obeyed the bosses.

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, all this has metamorphosed. Constant innovation makes experience, not irrelevant, but in need of constant adjustment. The good workers are no longer the quiet, co-operative ones, but those who look ahead, spot what's coming, and adapt. This applies to organisations as well as individuals. The static ones will be left behind. To succeed, an organisation has to become a complex adaptive system, operating through core principles that nurture flexibility and innovation.

Useful Reading For:
Managers and trainers.

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