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Disability Management in the Workplace. Dept. of Social Protection. Barbara Geoghegan Fidelma Cotter November 2011. Organisation Commitments. DSP Sectoral Plan under Disability Act 2005 Chapter 3.4 (Disability Workplace Management) Contains a range of commitments regarding the

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disability management in the workplace

Disability Management in the Workplace

Dept. of Social Protection

Barbara Geoghegan

Fidelma Cotter

November 2011

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
what we have done
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
what we have done1
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.

key factors in achieving progress
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
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
central developments
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
future plans
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
assistive technology
Assistive Technology
  • Needs Assessment Process
    • Site Visit
    • Professional Assessment
    • Technology match
    • Procurement
    • Installation/Training
    • Feedback
    • Ongoing support
    • Innovation
  • 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
technology match
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
  • 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
installation training

Most solutions are simple to install

Manufacturers support


Some organisations offer training

One to one training most appropriate

Ideal to train helpdesk staff

software development
Software Development

Accessibility built-in

Developer awareness

User involvement at design phase

User Acceptance Testing


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

ongoing support
Ongoing Support
  • Network of users
  • Ongoing training
  • New uses
    • Eg messenger for hard of hearing
  • New Technology
  • New AT coming on-stream at all times
  • New uses from mainstream technology
  • Exhibitions/Roadshows
  • Conferences
  • User Experiences
  • Websites
useful links
Useful Links
  • National Council for the Blind Ireland (www.ncbi.ie) - provides assessments in their low –vision clinic and also undertakes a technology match.
  • Centre for Inclusive Technology (www.cfit.ie) –provides user testing and developer training to ensure that in-house applications are accessible
  • National Association for Deaf People (www.nadi.ie) – provides assessments and technology match in their centres.
  • Irish Deaf Society (www.deaf.ie) – provides information and services for Deaf people
  • Enable Ireland (www.enableireland.ie) – 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 (www.dyslexia.ie) - provides support and information to people with learning difficulties
  • Central Remedial Clinic (www.crc.ie) - provides a range of specialised services for children and adults with physical disabilities.