Camden UNISON is proud to have signed up to the Camden Disability Network’s Charter, and some of our members are actively helping to co-ordinate the Network. Here Asif outlines the aims and plans of the Network and gives details of how you can get in touch and involved.
Camden Disability Network Mission Statement
Disabled staff across the organisation have recently come together to re-establish Camden Disability Network, and to support the organisation in ensuring it is inclusive of everyone’s needs, fostering a working environment that is equal for all.
“The network aims to ensure that all staff feel able to declare their disabilities and become positive role models for their disabled colleagues. Through the network we want to empower disabled staff, celebrate their talents and help them to achieve their hopes for the future.”
Camden Disability Network, November 2020
Camden Disability Network offers support for disabled staff across Camden Council. This is a safe space to express views or concerns, a platform for everyone’s voice to be heard and to influence decisions across the organisation. We will work together to ensure equal participation for all. We are committed to making the CDN a truly inclusive, equal and respectful place for disabled staff.
Camden Disability Network’s vision
- We want Camden to be an organisation where staff members are not identified by their disability, but are seen as people
- We want to be able see the talents and potential of all staff, regardless of their disability, and ensure that Camden provide reasonable adjustments when needed
- We want all Camden Council workplaces and public spaces, as well as programs and services, to be accessible
- We want to make our workplace somewhere where people with disabilities can be, and want to be, their best selves
- In the immediate term we want to provide internal support to staff. In the long term we want to instigate projects to help engage the wider community of Camden and recognise the needs, interests and concerns of disabled residents.
How Camden Disability Network will help Camden to achieve this vision:
- Working with HR to review HR policies, and ensure disabled staff are protected, according to the Equality Act 2010 and relevant case law
- Encouraging open and honest conversations between all parts of Camden and other organisations
- Increasing disability awareness
- Working closely with the Rainbow Group, Camden Black Worker’s Group, and other Employee Support Groups, and Trade Unions
- Promoting Disability History Month to raise awareness of disabled staff for all staff
- Producing the Disability Charter
- Acting as a disability and change champion
The Network’s core beliefs
- Disabilities are a natural part of life. Anyone can acquire a disability at any time
- Many of the difficulties faced by disabled people are a result of attitudes and environments, and not the disability itself
- Disabilities positively affect and enhance the diversity of our community
- The term ‘disability’ is not to be viewed as something negative, a taboo, or something which makes an individual in any well less than others
Everyone should have the opportunity to express their strengths, abilities, and talents:
- Discussing disabilities is to be encouraged in order to help people
- Data about disabilities is treated with confidence at all times
Disability Network – The Disability Charter
“A Charter for Change”
The need for a Disability Charter has been highlighted by feedback from the staff Pulse Survey Summer 2020, which stated:
“Disabled staffs being concerned about emotional health & wellbeing has decreased by 15% since the last survey in May 2020. However there remains higher levels of concern in various areas when compared to non-disabled staff. There is also lower levels of trust that the organisation will make decisions to keep staff safe. These results will be explored further with the disabled workers staff network.”
Camden support the ‘social model of disability’ and believe that the way society is organised creates barriers to inclusion and prevents disabled people from taking an equal part in life. Camden is committed to finding ways to remove these barriers and change attitudes.
The Disability Charter’s primary purpose is to protect disabled staff and make work more inclusive of persons with disabilities, providing them with the same opportunities as non-disabled staff, in order for them to bring their best selves to work, and show that disability is not a barrier to contributing positively to Camden’s workforce and success.
The Disability Charter is a commitment to all staff to ensure that actions are taken in the best interests of the disabled community.
This Disability Charter has been developed with the following Camden 2025 vision in mind:
“We have worked with our communities to create a new vision for Camden in 2025: Together we want to make Camden a better borough – a place where everyone has a chance to succeed, where nobody gets left behind, and where everybody has a voice.”
Overall, the aim is to create awareness and inclusivity, thus providing a basis for change.
We aim to:
• Prompt positive change at a strategic and operational level within each service;
• Promote better ways of working;
• Transform the working culture to be inclusive;
• Provide opportunities for staff regardless of disability;
• Provide better consideration of the rights, needs and concerns of disabled staff; and
• Hold an annual month to celebrate and acknowledge disability through events, talks, and workshops.
All Camden Council staff, including councillors, management and HR. We all need to work
together to achieve the aims within this Disability Charter.
The document has been created in relation to the interests, rights, needs, opportunities,
concerns, and treatment of the disabled community within Camden, including but not
limited to people with disabilities listed under the Equality Act 2010, and people with any
level of physical, mental, neurological or psychological and/or learning disability.
Any rights, privileges and general content referred to in this document are not exhaustive.
The omission of a specific topic does not mean that it should ot be considered for review and inclusion.