Disability Action Plan

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1 Disability Action Plan Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) March 2013 This document is available in audio format, Braille, Easy Read and as an accessible pdf. It can be made available on request and where reasonably practicable in further alternative formats, such as large print or other languages to meet the needs of those for whom English is not their first language. 1

2 What is in this report? Introduction Who is included in our plan? How we developed this plan What we do Page How people can be involved in our work 5 What have we done up to now What are we going to do Action Plan Your Views

3 Introduction The NISCC has to follow the law which says that in our work we have to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people; and encourage participation by disabled people in public life. The law also says that we have to develop a disability action plan. We have to send this plan to the Equality Commission. The plan needs to say what we will do in our work. As Mr James Perry, Interim Chair, and Mr Brendan Johnston, Chief Executive of NISCC say we want to make sure we do this in a way that makes a difference to people with a disability. We will put in what is necessary to do so. This includes people, time and money. Where it is right to do so, we will include actions from this plan in the yearly plans we develop for the organisation as a whole. These are called corporate or business plans. We will also put everything in place in the organisation to make sure that we do what we have to under the law. This includes making one person responsible overall for making sure we do what we say we are going to do in our plan. We will make sure we let our staff know of what is in our plan. We will also train our staff and help them understand what they need to do. The person in our organisation who is responsible for making sure that we do what we have promised to do is Mark Bradley, Director of Registration and Corporate Services, NISCC. When you have any questions you can contact Mark Bradley at: Name: Mark Bradley Address: NISCC, 7 th floor, Millennium House, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7QA Telephone number: prefix with for Text Relay Textphone:

4 Every year we will write up what we have done of those actions we said we would take. We will send this report to the Equality Commission. We will also publish this report on our website: After five years we will look at our plan again to see how we have done. We will also see what else we could do. Whenever we develop or look at our plan we will invite people who have a disability to work with us. Who is included in our plan? Our plan relates to the following key areas: Physical disabilities; Sensory disabilities; Learning disabilities; Mental health disabilities; and, Other hidden disabilities. It also covers people who are included in more than one of these areas. We have other equality laws that require us to promote equality of opportunity across a number of diverse categories. In our plans we need to also think about other factors such as caring responsibilities, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and marital status. How we developed this plan In starting off to develop this plan, we looked at what we did under our first plan. We then read up on what the Equality Commission said would be good to do. This was after they had looked at what other organisations have done. All this helped us think about what else we could do to make a difference for people who have a disability. 4

5 We then invited disability groups to a meeting to find out what they thought about our ideas. We also asked them whether there was anything else we could do. We thought it was important to involve people who have a disability in developing our plan. So we invited disability groups to a meeting to find out what they thought about our ideas. We also asked them whether there was anything else we could do. What we do NISCC is part of health and social care in Northern Ireland. We do things like: Maintain the register which has around 20,000 Social Workers, Social Care Workers and Students on it. We carry out investigations about the conduct of Social Workers and Social Care Workers who are registered with us. Social Workers have a Code of Conduct which they must comply with. Review the Codes to ensure they are always up to date and reflect good practice. Ensure those who are registered complete all the necessary training they need. Take into account the views and experiences of service users and carers when we are planning and delivering our work. How people can be involved in our work There are a number of ways in which people can be involved in the work of NISCC Meetings of Council are open to the public and can provide a way to observe how Council works. Minutes of meetings are also published on our website and can be provided in hard copy if necessary; 5

6 Users of Social Care Services and Carers are encouraged to be members of our Participation Partnership which challenges how NISCC designs and delivers its business and policies. We publicly consult on a wide range of policies and initiatives and encourage the public to respond and help us ensure our business best meets the needs of those who use social care services. We advertise for lay members (members of the public with experience of social care) to apply to be panel members for conduct and committee hearings. We openly recruit for staff to cover a wide range of posts on a regular basis. What we have done up to now This is what we have done already to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and encourage the participation of disabled people in public life. Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people We have widened our welcoming statement on recruitment advertisements to encourage all S75 groups, include disabled people to apply for posts within the NISCC. All our staff receive disability awareness training and some staff have been trained on the evacuation chair to ensure that people with a physical disability can be safely escorted and assisted off the premises in the event of an evacuation. We equality screen all our policies, and as part of that consider to what extent the policy will enable to us to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people. Active involvement from those with a disability in our service user and carer events and conferences. Encourage the participation of disabled people in public life We have refreshed our membership of the Participation Partnership which comprises service users and carers, to include those with a disability. 6

7 We provide all our information in a wide range of formats to make them as accessible as possible to the widest range of people. We have widened our welcoming statement on recruitment advertisements to encourage all S75 groups, include disabled people to apply for posts within the NISCC. We have also carried out a review of all our actions over the last 5 years which can be found on our website. What we are going to do In the table below we list all the actions that we suggest we will do. We also say when we will do them. 7

8 What we will do to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and encourage the participation of disabled people in public life (1) Communication Action Measure Intended Outcome Performance Indicator and Target 1.1 Work with disabled people to consider the diversity of images used and potential for portraying wider range of individuals when developing information materials including websites 1.2 Assess and improve accessibility of website Disabled people are portrayed in a positive manner Improved accessibility checklist for authors developed and in use Website accessibility of recognised standard. Timescale and Ownership Business Services Organisation s (BSO) Equality Unit NI Social Care Council (NISCC) 1.3 Put in place contractual arrangements for the production of materials in alternative formats. Accessible formats are more readily available Contracts in place Year 3 BSO Equality Unit Year 3 8

9 1.4 Adopt Accessible Information policy and guidance. Improved accessibility of information Common wording relating to alternative formats for inclusion in documents NISCC Protocol on how to deal with requests for alternative formats in place For electronic communication, guidance in place for staff on how to set default settings to ensure accessible font size BSO Information Technology Services (ITS) 9

10 (2)Awareness Raising and Training Action Measure Intended Outcome Performance Indicator and Target 2.1 Encourage staff to declare that they have a disability or care for a person with a disability Provide guidance to staff on the importance of monitoring. More accurate data in place Greater number of staff feel comfortable declaring they have a disability. Awareness raising measure delivered Staff survey undertaken Timescale and Ownership BSO Human Resources Undertake staff survey to collect baseline information 2.2 Raise awareness of specific barriers faced by people with disabilities including through linking in with National Awareness Days or Weeks (such as Mind your Health Day) Increased staff awareness of the range of disabilities and needs Awareness Days profiled Stalls set up and road shows organised Equality event hosted Staff awareness survey undertaken demonstrates increased awareness BSO Equality Unit Year 1 Onwards BSO Human Resources Year 3 10

11 2.3 In collaboration with people with a disability review current guidance and produce revised guidance on support for staff with a disability 2.4 In collaboration with disabled people design, deliver and evaluate training for staff on disability equality. Staff with a disability are supported and staff are empowered to provide support Increased staff awareness of the range of disabilities and needs Guidance in place for staff with a disability on what support is available Guidance promoted All staff trained (general and bespoke) and disability awareness forms part of induction. E-Learning package also rolled out across all staff. Staff awareness survey undertaken demonstrates increased awareness BSO Human Resources Year 3 BSO Equality Unit/NISCC onwards BSO Human Resources Year 3 11

12 (3)Getting people involved in our work, Participation and Engagement Action Measure Intended Outcome Performance Indicator and Target 3.1 Develop standards and guidance for the involvement of people with a disability and their carers in relation to services. 3.2 Identify, provide and promote opportunities for more engagement for people with a disability in key work areas 3.3 Explore scope and interest in the establishment of a forum for staff on disability Greater accessibility and involvement for adults with disabilities Barriers are removed Better engagement by adults with a disability in key areas Better involvement of staff with a disability in decision-making in collaboration with trade unions across the HSC wide Checklist in place and in use on involving people with a disability in meetings including payments of expenses Opportunities provided in 3 key areas Welcoming statement included and announcement issued to local disability organisations Forum established Timescale and Ownership Personal Public Involvement lead Year 3 NISCC s Senior Management Team Year 1 onwards NISCC s Senior Management Team BSO Human 12

13 Resources 3.4 Nominate a champion at senior level Evidence of leadership at senior level. Champion identified NISCC s Senior Management Team 3.5 Explore the scope for developing a shadowing scheme for Board and Council members and other key public life positions in engagement with the Public Appointments Unit and with people with a disability. 3.6 Establish a baseline on participation in public life positions. 3.7 Involve disabled people in delivery and review of this plan Develop capacity of people with a disability to participate in public life positions More accurate data in place Better engagement by adults with a disability Shadowing scheme in place 2 people with a disability have participated Review undertaken within 5 years. Year 1 NISCC s Chief Executive s Office Year 5 NISCC Year 3 BSO Equality Unit Year 5 13

14 (4) Recruitment and Retention Action Measure Intended Outcome Performance Indicator and Target 4.1 Explore scope for identifying and promoting advocate or specialist within workforce with role to support and advise staff on disability issues. 4.2 Offer mentoring opportunities for young adults and older adults with disabilities 4.3 Create and promote meaningful placement opportunities for people with disabilities in line with good practice and making use of voluntary expertise in this area. Produce practical guidance on process and external support available. Timescale and Ownership Improved support for staff Scoping completed BSO Equality Unit People with a disability gain meaningful work experience People with a disability gain meaningful work experience 2 number of mentoring opportunities provided Guidance in place. 2 number of placements provided NISCC BSO Human Resources BSO Equality Unit BSO Human Resources Year 1 onwards 14

15 4.4 Encourage disabled people to apply for employment opportunities and remain in the workforce (for example attend career fairs, include welcoming statement and issue job adverts to local disability organisations and more flexible working arrangements and review job descriptions). 4.5 Work with others to provide opportunities for work placement/job shadowing for those with a disability Greater numbers of people with a disability apply Improved awareness in place about disability issues, and more people with a disability encouraged to apply for jobs within the NISCC 5 steps taken to encourage people to apply for employment opportunities. Work placement/job shadowing in place BSO Human Resources Year 3 NISCC 15

16 Signed by: Chair Date: Chief Executive Date: 16

17 7 th floor, Millennium House, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7QA 17

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