Katie's Diary

Don't just Talk the Talk - Walk the Walk on Equality

17th October 2014

ubu has worked tirelessly for vulnerable adults and children to enjoy the same equality and recognition as everyone else in society, so we were a little disappointed this week when the news reported that Lord Freud suggested that disabled people could be paid less than everyone else.
 
To say his comments were naïve is a gross understatement, and we are really pleased he has since apologized; but it does highlight the level of quiet discrimination that still potentially exists today. A simple question asked ‘could a disabled person perform some tasks in the workplace to the same standard as an able bodied person?’­­
 
For more than 30 years, ubu has worked hard to help support all of the people we serve and encourage them to get into therapeutic work so they feel a real sense of contribution.  It is difficult sometimes because many will have experienced personal trauma or suffered low self-esteem and it can take time to convince them they have a contribution to make and that they should have the confidence to apply for roles they aspire to.
 
Our innovative uStep model of support is based on encouraging the people we serve to live more independent lives at the heart of their local communities, making a full and worthwhile contribution. Therapeutic work is a key part of that.
 
Once the people we serve have overcome their natural reticence of applying for roles, they start to feel that opportunities are out there. They just need to grab them and seize the day! This is the first step on the journey to achieving their ambitions.
 
Most employers thankfully have very robust equal opportunities policies and don’t even have to think about the minimum wage.  They employ an individual based on an application and interview, most of which are strictly monitored to ensure they do operate equality to all applicants.  
 
Unfortunately though there is a minority who perhaps don’t share this view and may try to work under the radar if they could.  That was the subject raised this week demonstrating archaic attitudes but also suggesting that some companies are not prepared to implement Equality and Employment policies, if they think they can get away with it.
 
As part of the End the Awkward campaign we have supported moves that look beyond a person’s disability and see what they bring to an organisation and how they can effectively harness that talent.
 
Because an individual has learning difficulties does not mean they cannot work effectively with people and similarly if a person is in a wheelchair, it doesn’t mean they are unable to use their skills.
 
Those who are disabled often have to overcome massive hurdles to pluck up the courage to apply for therapeutic work, the challenge now is for employers to pick up that baton and Walk the Walk of their equality policies rather than just Talk the Talk.
 
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Don't just Talk the Talk - Walk the Walk on Equality

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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