Equal Approach was commissioned by a national client to design, facilitate and deliver a Development Event for 50 of their management staff throughout the UK, over the course of a five day period. The key purpose of this Development Event, was to identify each attendees’ suitability for a new role, which demanded a higher level of operation and a broader range of skills to deliver effectively. This resulted in taking the 50 members of staff through a range of exercises, whilst observing their current skill base in line with the requirements of their new role.
Over the course of these events 20% of the attendees declared a disability or health condition and requested adjustments at some stage.
The quality of the attendees’ experience over the 2 days was of upmost importance and attention to the attendees’ wellbeing throughout the process was paramount. Both the client and ourselves placed an emphasis on how the event should be positioned in the minds of the attendees, in order for the event to be inclusive, and allow them to perform at their best. Over the course of the Development Event, Equal Approach’s trained Psychological Assessors were on hand to respond to any signs of unease. The attendees were encouraged to participate with a spirit of openness and honesty in order to learn more about themselves and recognise the areas where they required development.
As a supplementary piece of work, Equal Approach was tasked with supporting the attendees’ Line Managers with the delivery of feedback from the event the following day, for which we were required to construct a development plan and complete an executive summary for each attendee.
Throughout the event attendees were given several opportunities to request adjustments in line with their disability or health condition, including before and during the event, to allow them to perform at the best of their abilities.
In order to encourage attendees to request any adjustments they might need, Equal Approach put in place a 6 Point Disability Disclosure Framework.
6 Point Disability Disclosure Framework
1. Employer Branding
We utilised the employer brand of both the client and Equal Approach in order to communicate to attendees that this would be an inclusive event, where they could feel safe to disclose a disability or health condition, with the reassurance that both parties would make the necessary adjustments for them to perform at their best.
On each invitation that was sent to invite attendees to the Development Event, there was a clear statement around diversity, with a specific focus on disability, which provided details of how attendees could request adjustments in confidence.
3. Online Portal
We used an online portal for attendees to register, which included a wide range of accessible technology including: BrowseAloud screen reader and low/high contrast options for each page. There was also clear contact information, so attendees could get in touch with us either by using the designated phone helpline or by email, if they had any issues on the portal or required information in alternative formats.
4. Designated Phone Helpline
Equal Approach set up a dedicated phone helpline prior to the event, which was maintained throughout the 5 days, and for a period afterwards, in order to support attendees with any queries that they might have. This designated phone helpline also provided an alternative option to the online portal, where candidates could receive information verbally if required.
5. Exercises Created by a Disabled Lead Assessor and Diversity Practitioner
All of the exercises for the Development Event were created by a disabled Lead Assessor, and Diversity Practitioner, in order to guarantee that they were appropriate for the audience, ensuring that whilst the Development Event was demanding, it would not disadvantage anyone who required adjustments.
6. At the Event - Last Minute Adjustments
Throughout the event, attendees were regularly asked if they required any adjustments in order for them to perform at their best, with our team having the facilities and capability to manage any last minute requests.
Over the course of these events 20% of the attendees declared a disability or health condition and requested adjustments at some stage. Declarations ranged from dyslexia, which required tasks to be presented to attendees in alternative formats, to physical disabilities and health conditions for which we incorporated a range of adjustments including additional breaks and minimising the physical distance between exercises.
The Development Events were hosted by our team of qualified and experienced Assessors, each of whom are trained in equality & diversity. Our Assessors are a mix of Technical Assessors, who were tasked with looking at attendees’ ability to do the role based on their experience and previous results, and Behavioural/Psychological Assessors who were examining the attendees’ responses to various situations and stimuli.