The Ability network provides a confidential, psychologically safe space for staff with a disability or long-term health condition and allies. The Network will enable members to share experiences, information and best practice, offer peer support, and influence positive change for disabled people within the organisation.
Although around 19% of working age adults are thought to be disabled in the UK, only 1.4% of NHSGJ staff have disclosed having a disability (according to the 2021 Workforce monitoring report). Disabled people can face a variety of challenges entering and progressing in the workplace, from the accessibility of buildings, technologies and ways of working to the stigma surrounding many mental and physical health conditions and impairments.
We are committed to creating an environment which is inclusive of and accessible to disabled people. We want to ensure that disabled people are treated with dignity and respect and are given the support they need to thrive. We want to listen to and learn from the needs, concerns and experiences of disabled staff and take informed action to be more inclusive and supportive.
The Network is currently open to any NHSGJ staff members and volunteers who identifies as disabled or has a mental or physical health condition or impairment. This could include staff who have experience of:
It is important to recognise that disabled people are a very diverse group of individuals, and no experience of being disabled is the same. Not all disabilities are visible or permanent. The Network will never ask you to disclose any disability or health condition.
Below are some core aims that the Network might want to consider. However, these need to work for its members, so these will be updated, refined and prioritised as members join and shape the Network to meet their needs and goals. These will also likely change over time as the Network evolves.
If you want to be involved with the Ability Network, please contact: