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
Summary of what Camden Disability Network has achieved so far:
Camden Disability Network
- Camden Disability Network aims to welcome disabled staff, colleagues who work with disabled staff or residents or communities.
- Camden Disability Network Working Group aims for Executive Board overview of disability issues will cover review policies, consultation, communication, working with senior management, etc
- Set up Camden Disability Network Yammer Group – If you are interested, you can join Camden Disability Network Yammer to contribute your disability, resources, ideas, stories, etc.
- Heads of Services to advise Team Managers to promote the Camden Disability Network through to their members of staff
Disability History Month – 18th November 18th December 2020
- Camden Disability Network is launched new Logo and email banner signature
- Jenny Rowlands, Chief Executive’s statement of support for Disability History Month and Disability Network via Essentials
- Promote staff personal stories i.e. if staff have a role model or anyone who has inspired them internally or externally. We are keen to promote awareness of disabled staff internally and externally through Essentials, Yammer and Twitter
- Disability History Month conversation video will be on Essentials and Yammer on 18th November 2020.
- Disability History Month: resources to support and inform:
- Promoting training sessions: Emma Watson and Emma Chimonidou, Executive Member of Disability Network Working Group, will be running 3 x dyspraxia sessions on 19th, 24th November and 1st and 17th December 2020 during Disability History Month.
- Camden Disability Network delighted to be working in partnership with Islington Disabled Staff Forum as they share the following lunch time drop in training sessions to all Camden and Islington staff.
Spotting the signs and positive relationships
End the Awkward! Conversation
- Camden Disability Network is proud to announce that Camden Council will provide a purple light at 5PS offices on Thursday 3rd December 2020 to celebrate International Day for Disabled People and recognise disabled staff’s great achievements and value their contribution to Camden. This will include signing the Camden Disability Network’s Disability Charter as well.
- Camden Disability Network Charter will be signed by Jenny Rowlands, Chief Executive and Councillor Gould, Leader on Thursday 3rd December 2020 in conjunction with the celebration of the International Day for Disabled People.
- Camden Council will seek a Disability Champion role that can be used to engage/ involve with disabled staff and to raise the profile of Camden Council.
Working partnership with Islington Disabled Staff Forum
- Recently we have met Islington Disabled Staff Forum to see how we can work in partnership, share information and network as it could be beneficial for our long term planning.