At Access Alba, we consider Disability & Equality Awareness Training to be of the upmost importance, and a priority for all services providers.
Although the Equality Act 2010 is non-compliance based and not prescriptive in its requirements, it does contain an Anticipatory Duty and refer to Reasonable Adjustment.
Disability Awareness and Equality Training helps service providers to understand their obligations under the ‘Act’ and the term Reasonable Adjustment. It will also provide a better understanding of the needs of disabled people, their journey, and the barriers that can prevent them from using a service. A wheelchair-user will have very different needs from someone with a visual impairment, or someone with autism, for example.
Similarly, there are many ‘hidden’ disabilities, which are not as obvious to the service provider, and therefore often not considered in service delivery planning. Small things can mean a lot to an individual who requires a slightly different approach to service delivery. Small changes, and understanding, will help enormously to alleviate barriers, and ensure the individual can work effectively, or enjoy their social experience.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that disability awareness training is hugely beneficial in terms of understanding and willingness to help overcome barriers – leading to changing behaviours and attitudes. This is usually because knowledge promotes confidence, where people are less fearful of challenge and more willing to ask questions, and as a result offer the right support and find agreeable solutions.
Equality and Disability Awareness training can help to reduce unintended discrimination and harassment, ensuring successful working environments, improving relations, and importantly increasing access, and use, of services.