Training delivery for Carmarthenshire employers including disability awareness training.
Training was delivered free of charge to local employers, and the trainer was himself disabled, i.e. blind. The training events engaged with 458 individuals; raising awareness of disabilities and highlighting disability discrimination and the legislation to try to combat this.
What the provision of the training did very clearly demonstrate was that there was a very great need to raise the awareness amongst small local employers of the rights and problems concerned with the employment of disabled people and it showed that there is no reason why this section of the offering could not be mainstreamed, provided that either funding is forthcoming to provide free courses or that a small charge appropriate to local conditions could be applied.
The impact of this training on the employers has been astounding. Results are still being compiled which show how the employers have changed their working practices and employment policies as a result.
Good Practice Guide and Attitude Survey
With transnational partners the project undertook an in-depth survey of the attitudes of employers in Carmarthenshire, Hungary and France and then prepared a good practice guide that will assist employers in the evaluation and employment of people with disabilities.
The guide has proven successful as an initial step to raise some awareness in employers’ minds about the difficulties, problems and solutions available in dealing with people with disabilities.
Website of local providers and support organisations and to provide training for that website’s target audience.
The Capacitate Web site was developed in order to provide a single access point to support organisations for Incapacity Benefit Claimants and professionals working with them.
The robust research, identification and liaison process with service providers in Carmarthenshire ensured that no major, or in indeed the minor, players in the support of IBC’s were not included on the website. This mapping exercise of support provision within Carmarthenshire enables support agencies and IBCs alike, to access information on the variety of support available and developments new to the area. The website set up and is of obvious use to the target group.
Established new networks
1. networking groups of local providers have been established and are engaged in the exchange of information and inter-agency working between organisations involved in helping IBC’s.
The positive results achieved by bringing people together has enhanced inter-agency networking greatly in Carmarthenshire. What became apparent during the networking groups was that even though the scheme had a Carmarthenshire parameter to it, there was great interest in what was going on from people in neighbouring counties, particularly Pembrokeshire, and also organisations which had a West Wales dimension rather than a single county method of operation
2. networking groups of current and former incapacity benefit claimants have been established.
This aspect of the programme has been very successful in terms of setting up a number of groups and obtaining a relevant mixture of gender, length of incapacity benefit claimed and disability. An extra feature of this part of the objective was the setting up of a specific group of people who were severely hearing impaired and whose normal communication method was not necessarily speech based. There was great interest in this aspect of the programme and the feed back from this group has been very positive.
The level of influence these groups had proved to be an innovation which should be encouraged in future programmes designed to help this and other disadvantaged groups of people back to work.
All participants were interviewed as part of the follow-on evaluation and all mentioned the increase in confidence building that they achieved through meeting people with similar disabilities or circumstances and by structuring the help around their own particular needs rather than to fill the requirements of a particular programme.