We are committed to removing barriers and challenges faced by people living with disabilities. Our strategy is two-fold – supporting accessibility and adjustments, and getting the best from each other by becoming confident and knowledgeable about disability.
Our disability confidence program is designed to support our people to feel confident in working with and supporting people living with disabilities, allowing them to overcome any fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. We aim to remove assumptions, and instead, have respectful and meaningful interactions with people living with disabilities.
Below are some of our initiatives:
- We strive to create a culture where mental health is understood without stigma or discrimination – a culture that allows us to improve the well-being of our people. As part of a range of initiatives and benefits to support this goal, our Breathe employee resource groups in Canada and the UK provide employees with an open forum and safe place for discussions about mental health issues.
- In the US, we have formed a Wellness Committee which, among other objectives, provides programming that reinforces an inclusive, safe, and healthy culture for all. We also created on-demand resources to educate our employees, including fostering empathy among people with differing abilities and promoting the importance of accessibility for all.
- In the UK, Shine, our employee resource group for people living with disability and/or long-term health conditions, is an inclusive network that enables all employees to share their experiences and advice while helping to raise awareness.
- In Canada, as signatories of the Dear Everybody agreement, we are committed to helping to end stigma against and to creating a more inclusive future for people living with disabilities. We have also pledged to use more imagery that is inclusive of people with disabilities whenever we have opportunities to do so.
- In Australia, we have developed a Disability Inclusion Action Plan designed around four pillars: employment, systems and processes, attitudes and behaviors, and community participation. This is a whole-of-business strategy that will inform new ways of communicating and designing roles and physical space, as well as how we recruit.
- In partnership with a third-party service provider in South Africa, we have developed a structured 12-month learnership program focused on employing persons with disabilities. Through completion of the program, participants receive a recognized official qualification and increase their employability by gaining valuable job experience in a corporate environment that promotes skill development.
- We support requests for adjustments and seek out opportunities to create accessibility in all of our regions. Our Tailored Workplace Adjustments Passport initiative in the UK is a living document that makes a record of the workplace adjustments discussed and agreed between an employee and their line manager. The passport can be used by any employee who has a short- or long-term medical condition, and/or any employee who has a sensory, physical or cognitive disability or mental health condition.