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Disability Management in the Workplace Dept. of Social Protection Barbara Geoghegan Fidelma Cotter November 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Disability Management in the Workplace Dept. of Social Protection Barbara Geoghegan Fidelma Cotter November 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Disability Management in the Workplace Dept. of Social Protection Barbara Geoghegan Fidelma Cotter November 2011

2 Organisation Commitments Strategy Statement (High Level Goals) HR StrategyT&D Strategy Support Area’s Business Plans Eg Personnel, Staff Development Unit, Facilities, IT IS Strategy

3 DSP Sectoral Plan under Disability Act 2005 Chapter 3.4 (Disability Workplace Management)   Contains a range of commitments regarding the employment and career progression of people with disabilities   Mirrors objectives outlined in strategies mentioned

4 What we have done   Dedicated Staff in Support Areas – DLO, IT, Facilities, Training Unit   Workplace Partnership Group – Staff with disabilities, key support areas   Needs Assessment Structure implemented   Links with external Disability Organisations, service providers   Phased return to work for those who have acquired disability   Clearly defined role for line managers in supporting colleagues with disabilities   Project to make our systems more accessible to Jaws users

5 What we have done   Awareness raising – diversity courses, reasonable accommodation training for HR, senior management training, mental health training delivered to front line staff initially and now being offered to all staff   Provided dedicated pages on the supports for staff with a disability in our HR Intranet Site   Awareness Guidelines developed – with input from our own colleagues with disabilities and updated as required   Disability Awareness Guidelines distributed to staff on a structured basis to staff annually and at induction training for new staff and disability awareness training.

6 Key factors in achieving progress   Consultation with our own staff with disabilities   Partnership Group – produced “Enabling Environment” and “Report on Career Progression for Staff with Disabilities”   Workshops on developing awareness guidelines,   User testing new Assistive Technology Products,   Needs assessment procedure – involved on the day   Seminars held for our staff with visual and hearing impairments to identify outstanding issues and plan for future   Effective co-operation between support areas

7 Needs Assessment Process   On-site visit   Staff member, Line Manager, DLO, IT, Facilities   Evaluate physical access issues, workstation, IT requirements, ergonomics etc   Comprehensive report at end of visit outlining issues discussed and highlighting any issue which needs to be rectified   Follow-up and feedback

8 Central Developments   Disability Advisory Officer in Dept of Finance   DLO Network – sharing information   New Code of Practice   Monitoring Committee under Disability Act 2005   Staff Survey, records based on self-disclosure

9 Future Plans   Commitments in Sectoral Plan – covering Staff Supports, Awareness Raising and Career Progression, Recruitment   Specific plans from HR perspective   Improve corporate information on the needs of staff with disabilities and how they can be addressed. Develop a case studies database   Improve the information available on our internal website containing information of supports available to staff with disabilities   Research best practice and enhance links with external organisations

10 Assistive Technology  Needs Assessment Process –Site Visit –Professional Assessment –Technology match –Procurement –Installation/Training –Feedback –Ongoing support –Innovation

11 Assessment  Forge links with dedicated organisations –National Council for the Blind Ireland –National Disability Authority –Centre for Inclusive Technology –National Association for Deaf People –Irish Deaf Society –Enable Ireland  High-tech Assistive Technology course –Dyslexic Association –Central Remedial Clinic

12 Technology Match  Based on assessment by professionals –range of assistive technology available  Screen readers  Magnification software and hardware  Scanners + reading software  Braille machines  Loop systems  Amplifying headsets  Minicom  Reading pens  Ergonomic products

13 Procurement  3-5 quotes  UK based with Irish resellers  Sole suppliers  After sales support  Require software to conform to at least NDA guidelines in all Tenders  Lots of items now mainstream –Particularly ergonomics

14 Installation/Training Most solutions are simple to install Manufacturers support Licensing Some organisations offer training One to one training most appropriate Ideal to train helpdesk staff

15 Software Development Accessibility built-in Developer awareness User involvement at design phase User Acceptance Testing

16 Feedback  Users need support  Feedback essential to ensure they get the most out of the equipment provided  Feedback to manufacturer’s helpful for future  Users Forums

17 Ongoing Support  Network of users  Ongoing training  New uses –Eg messenger for hard of hearing  New Technology

18 Innovation  New AT coming on-stream at all times  New uses from mainstream technology  Exhibitions/Roadshows  Conferences  User Experiences  Websites

19 Useful Links  National Council for the Blind Ireland ( - provides assessments in their low –vision clinic and also undertakes a technology match.   Centre for Inclusive Technology ( –provides user testing and developer training to ensure that in-house applications are accessible   National Association for Deaf People ( – provides assessments and technology match in their centres.   Irish Deaf Society ( – provides information and services for Deaf people   Enable Ireland ( – provides services for people with disabilities and their families. They run a course each year in conjunction with Microsoft and DIT entitled High-Tech Assistive Technology course. The course provides information on a wide range of Assistive Technology and on workstation assessments.   Dyslexic Association ( - provides support and information to people with learning difficulties   Central Remedial Clinic ( - provides a range of specialised services for children and adults with physical disabilities.

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