Glencraft Is Awarded Disability Confident Employer Certificate
When Glencraft originally opened in 1843, its purpose was to provide employment to visually impaired people living in Aberdeen. The Disability Confident Scheme is a UK Government supported scheme, which is aimed at encouraging employers to do more to hire people with various disabilities. This concept has been a part of Glencraft’s DNA from the very beginning, which is why Glencraft is so delighted to be awarded with this certificate.
The objective of the Disability Confident Scheme is to encourage businesses to recognise the talents that a disabled person could bring to their team. A person living with a disability can bring a wide range of skills and varied experiences, which could benefit your organisation, as they may have a different and unique outlook on how things are done. They could then apply this to their job role.
A common saying in business is to “think outside the box”. A person living with a disability probably already needs to think outside the box on a daily basis when completing basic daily tasks. Tasks that most people wouldn’t even give a second thought to. By realising this, an employer could potentially benefit from this person’s knowledge to help them change the way they do business.
In the world of employment, a person with a disability will most likely have a different view to that of a non-disabled person. For example, when it comes to applying for a job and going to an interview, an abled bodied person might be worrying about what to wear or practising their answers for interview questions that they may be asked. Whereas, although a person with a disability will also be thinking about these aspects, they will have even more to think about. Such as, how accessible will the interview be? Will there be access for a wheelchair? Will the employer be willing to make adjustments to accommodate my disability? Will I be treated fairly by other members of staff?
Whilst looking through job vacancies, it is reassuring to see the Disability Confident logo attached to indicate the employer is part of the scheme. Straight away, this will put your mind at ease that those previous questions are answered. By having this logo, a disabled person can rest assured that they will have accessible access to their interview, adjustments will be made to accommodate their disability within the job role, and they will be treated fairly by their employer and fellow work colleagues.
Many people with disabilities may feel reluctant to apply for jobs in case they aren’t even considered due to their disability. A Disability Confident organisation must commit to an offer of an interview for any person with a disability who meets all the basic requirements for the job as defined by the employer in the job advert or recruitment material.
When a disabled person applies for a job with an employer who is part of the scheme, it’s their choice whether they want to be put forward for the guaranteed interview. For example, if a disabled person were to opt out of the guaranteed interview, they might not get through to the interview stage if they only meet the minimum requirements. This can happen if there are a lot of applications and most of them not only meet the minimum requirements, but also meet further requirements.
If you choose to not be considered for a guaranteed interview and you still get through to the interview stage, you have the same rights as all the other candidates. So, if the employer only becomes aware of your disability during the interview, it cannot be shortened, cancelled, or rescheduled last minute. Also, the interviewer cannot treat you any differently to the other candidates or ask you any inappropriate questions relating to your disability.
Of course, a person with a disability isn't guaranteed the actual job role, but by having this scheme in place, the disabled community will know that this employer is offering a bit of extra support to someone who may otherwise not apply due to fear of rejection or feeling discriminated against.
What does it really mean to be a Disability Confident Employer?
It’s important to understand that employing someone with a disability shouldn’t be seen as an act of charity; it’s the act of a business that wants to be inclusive by finding the skills and experience within everyone and supporting everyone to reach their full potential. By tapping into the largest possible group of applicants, the business will also benefit and have a greater chance of finding the right candidate for the role.
As a Disability Confident Employer, Glencraft is committed to:
- Communicate and promote vacancies to disabled people.
- Make sure that our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible.
- Offer an interview to any person with a disability, who meets the basic requirements for the job as defined by the employer in the job advert or recruitment material.
- Be accommodating during our recruitment process so that a person with a disability has the best chance to showcase their skills.
- Make sure that we are being pro-active when making reasonable adjustments within the job role, to accommodate a person with a disability.
- Encourage our suppliers and businesses we work with to be Disability Confident also.
- Ensure that our employees are aware of disability equality awareness. This means that our staff who are part of the recruitment process know how to make this fully accessible. Once hired, our manager and supervisors know how to support a disabled employee. It also means that our employees should understand how a disabled person can be affected by their environment, as well as other people’s attitudes and behaviours.
Through being recognised with this certificate, Glencraft can now use the Disability Confident Badge on their marketing materials, which will help to let people with disabilities know that Glencraft recognises the value that they can bring to their business.
Case Study: The Disability Confident Scheme in Action
Working as part of the Glencraft team, Tuesday Mennie shares her thoughts and perspective on what the disabled community thinks about the Disability Confident Scheme.
As a part of the disabled community myself, I’d like to share my own thoughts and feelings about the Disability Confident Scheme and my role working at Glencraft.
Whenever I applied for a job, I was worried the employer wouldn’t take me seriously if they knew I had a disability. I thought I would be giving myself a better chance of reaching the interview stage by not mentioning my disability until I got to that point.
When the Disability Confident Scheme started and I realised I’d be entitled to an interview, initially I wasn’t sure if I wanted to choose this option, as I had never mentioned my disability before on applications. But, after thinking about it more, I started to realise that it was perhaps my pride that was stopping me from using the guaranteed interview. I think many people in the disabled community, including myself, don’t want to be treated any different so we might choose to avoid the scheme. We want to be as independent as possible, but it can sometimes be to our own detriment.
As much as I didn’t want to mention my disability, out of fear of being immediately taken out of the running, it was a sense of relief to know the employer already knows that I have a disability and it must not be an issue if I've been invited for an interview.
If hired, a person with a disability will receive support and adaptations if needed. Whether that be emotional support in helping to boost their confidence within the role, or physical adjustments they might need to make it easier for them to be able to physically carry out their tasks. I think this will really reassure the person applying that not only is their disability not an issue, but that the employer is happy to make changes to make sure they are comfortable within their role. Although this might be a small adjustment, this will make a big difference to the person. Not only physically, to help with their duties, but also emotionally, as it will be a big relief to know that they’re in a supportive work environment.
I am proud to work for a Disability Confident Employer. Firstly, it shows the world that this is a workplace that’s inclusive and actively taking steps to encourage people with disabilities to apply for a job within their team. It also shows a commitment to this scheme by offering a guaranteed interview if the person meets the minimal requirements. I think this can be a real confidence boost and give the person some interview experience to enhance their skills.
I think a lot of people with disabilities fear rejection, or that they won’t be taken seriously for the role they’re applying for, but by having the Disability Confident badge, the person will feel assured that they will be treated fairly and considered like all the other applicants.
I know, personally, that I have felt like that when applying for jobs. I wanted to tell the employer about my disability as soon as I could, but I was also worried it would immediately take me out of the running.
As for being a supportive working environment, I can honestly say that I’ve had nothing but support here at Glencraft. Whether that be encouraging feedback about my work or getting equipment to help me physically, such as a large keyboard and mouse pad.
Overall, I think the Disability Confident Scheme is a great way of not only being inclusive and offering a safe place for someone with a disability to work, but also lets the disability community know that they will have an equal chance of being hired. Although the guaranteed interview may seem like a small advancement, it could make the difference between a person having the confidence to not only apply for a job vacancy, but to have the confidence within themself and to know they’ll be supported.
I’d encourage anyone with a disability to look for the Disability Confident Badge when applying for a job vacancy. You can rest assured that by applying for a job with a Disability Confident Employer, you don’t have to worry about being judged or being discriminated against.
- Glencraft Aberdeen