This week, Maximus is recognising International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Saturday 3 December.
It’s an opportunity to acknowledge the experiences of disabled colleagues, and celebrate their contribution.
MaxAbility, our network for disabled colleagues, has nearly 250 members. It empowers disabled colleagues to influence and inform the business through lived experience, insights and events.
This year’s IDPD theme is hidden disabilities, and MaxAbility shared videos from colleagues and from our award-winning Sign Assist team. They provide BSL support to our customers.
A number of colleagues also shared their experience of hidden disabilities.
There was a blog from MaxAbility co-chair Adele Edwards and an inspirational talk from actress, comedian and author, Samantha Baines.
Her talk covered a range of disability topics, including her own experience of hearing loss.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s IDPD, MaxAbility’s Adele Edwards explained:
“Recent research shows one-in-five of the UK population are disabled, and 80% of these have a hidden disability. This means more than 10 million people are affected in the UK.
“We’ve addressed this by widening our focus to ‘disability and health’, for instance in our development of the ‘Disability & Health’ Passport. This helps disabled colleagues to collate information to share with their line manager.
“We’ve also promoted initiatives including the data-gathering ‘This Is Me’ project. This aims to encourage colleagues to share their information and to promote more thoughtful, better-informed conversations.”
Martin Forsythe, Director of Communications & Marketing and Executive Sponsor of MaxAbility, said:
“I’m inspired by the work that MaxAbility has done since it was established last year, including helping Maximus to achieve Disability Confident Leader status.
“This means we’re driving inclusive recruitment; and are transparent in our reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing.
“MaxAbility will be guiding us as we drive positive change in the wider industry and deliver on our commitment to double the number of disabled colleagues within our business in 2023.”
Kathryn Wood, Disability Training and Consultancy Specialist, added:
“The last 12 months have seen MaxAbility gathering momentum and finding our voice within the business, informed by lived experience.
“The next 12 months will be a ‘Year of Action’ and will see MaxAbility facilitating the practical actions required to deliver on Maximus’ disability goals.”