27th Jun 2022
We all know how important inclusion is at our college, whether for staff, students or anyone that walks through our doors. Our commitment to the Disability Confident initiative by the Department of Work & Pensions has been evident in our Disability Confident status for a number of years, a badge we have worn with immense pride.
We were, therefore, delighted to be part of a pilot project by the DWP which began in late 2021, becoming only the sixth company in Oxfordshire to attain Disability Confident Leader status earlier this month!
This prestigious accolade has come after months of hard work on the part of HR Adviser, Jennifer Collett, and her team, who began the monumental task of assembling no less than 36 pages of evidence and a 5,000 word statement to join other highly respected organisations such as Thames Valley Police, Activate Learning, County Print Finishers, Westgate Shopping Centre and Hable as Disability Confident Leaders for Oxfordshire.
Jennifer explains: "In the submission we were delighted to highlight the commitment the college has to celebrate diversity and promote equality of opportunity for all. We have worked hard to create a culture and ethos where inclusion, equality and diversity are embraced. We serve a diverse community and seek to develop a workforce that is representative of the community, at all levels and across all areas. Our most recent College Development Day - From Inclusion to Inclusive Practice - had sessions for all staff ranging from 'What is neurodiversity', 'How to support staff with disabilities' to 'How can we make our department processes more inclusive?'".
The initiatives that the college has introduced include, but are not limited to: Disability Leave; Staff-Led Networks; Reasonable Adjustment Passports; Employee Assistance Programme; Wellbeing Champions; Accessible Campuses; Flexible Working Policy; Wellbeing Policy; Information and Advice and the Disability Confident Working Group.
Now, with the status of Disability Confident Leader, the next steps will be to develop the business network created by the college to champion others to become Disability Confident, share best practice within the Association of Colleges HR Networking Group and with peer support HR groups, contribute actively to the Autism Working Group for Oxfordshire in planning and hosting events open to local businesses.
If you would like your organisation to join us on this journey but are not sure where to start why not join the college's networking group? We meet on a monthly basis to share best practice, ideas and to support each other. For further information and to join email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to welcoming you.