Disability Confident – “Yes I Can” Event

‘Yes I Can’ is a high profile initiative that has been running with great success throughout London. The events are now being rolled out across the South of England.

On Friday 11 May the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are hosting a ‘Yes I Can’ event in Hemel Hempstead and are inviting local employees to participate.

The idea is really simple. You take a group of claimants (between 4-8) with a health condition or disability and sit them down with a couple of employers. Both claimants and employers then have the chance to ask questions, explore barriers to work and do some myth-busting around health/disability and the work place. The kind of questions that could be asked include:

  • At what part during an interview or applying for a job should I mention my health/ disability?
  • If I was to employ you, how would your health/ disability impact on my company? What adjustments would I need to make?

After 5-10 minutes, the employers then move onto the next group of claimants, enabling the claimants to gain several different viewpoints from different employers, enabling them to plan more effectively their approach to job interviews or going back to work.

Before the start of the group discussions, both employers and claimants are briefed on the morning, during which time Disability Confident, Access to Work, Work Experience and Volunteering are introduced.

After the group discussions, a de-briefing is held to review how the morning went and share any ‘good news’ stories

As you can see, there is no mention of interviews or vacancies. All that is asked is that employers are willing to give up one morning of their time, to sit down with a group of people who are wanting to return to work and have some open and honest conversations with them, to help removes fears, break down barriers and explore different options available.

If you would like to take part in the Yes I Can event on the Friday 11 May, or would like some more information, please contact Anne Stokes on 07825 174566 or by email at: anne.stokes@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Disability employment facts:

  • Disability Confident employers recruit and retain disabled people and recognise how their skills can benefit their business.
  • There’s currently a 34.8% employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people
  • Over 6 MILLION people (16%) of working age are disabled or have a long term health condition
  • £212 BILLION- The value of the purple pound- that’s the annual spending power of households where someone is disabled
  • 76% of disabled people who experienced difficulties with people’s attitudes around employment, identified employer’s attitudes as an obstacle to work.
  • 83% of disabled people under state pension age acquired their disability or health condition between the ages of 16 and 64
  • ¼ of adults will experience mental health problems this year
  • 73% of employers who made work-related adjustments for employees said it was “very” or “quite easy” to do so

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