Fujitsu is today proud to mark the International Day of Disabled People. People with disabilities make a huge contribution to Fujitsu, working right across our business, with many overcoming significant challenges to do so. We are pleased to support the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in its Disability Confident Campaign and its efforts to champion people with disabilities getting into the workplace. Business and Government must work together to unlock the talents of disabled people and remove any continuing barriers to work. This is good for businesses, good for the economy, good for society and, most importantly, good for the individual.
Fujitsu is committed to ensuring that all our employees and customers have the right support as creating the right environment at work is critical. It is vitally important to me that I lead an organisation in which everyone can succeed no matter what their individual circumstances. There must be no barrier to talent. As such, I was honoured when Fujitsu was recently awarded the Two Ticks Disability Symbol by Jobcentre Plus. This recognises that we have met five key commitments regarding employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees.
Listening to people with disabilities about their needs is crucial for any business. In 2013 we set up our internal Disability Network, Support and Engage Employees with a Disability (SEED). The creation of SEED followed a series of workshops and a companywide consultation to identify what our people need. This group has gone from strength to strength, growing in size and positively impacting our people and the company.
One of the most significant innovations of SEED is the creation of our Disability Passport. In such a large ICT business employees are often required to move around, working in a range of different departments and on various accounts. As such there can be delays in a new role adapting to the needs of the individual. The Disability Passport ensures that the onus is instead placed on the company to adapt to the employee’s individual needs and not the other way around. New managers are aware of agreed adaptions and ensure they happen, and are in place, from day one in a new role.
The impact of the Disability Passport has been positive. Since its introduction in October 2013 the number of employees who feel comfortable sharing their disability at work has doubled. As an employer I am determined that every member of the team should be able to be themselves at work. We continue to actively promote the benefits of the Disability Passport so that anyone else who needs assistance to perform their role to the best of their abilities feels comfortable to ask for it.
Alongside adaptive working practices is the need for accessible technology to support disabled people in the modern workplace. We work hard to ensure that our technology is accessible for all users. A practical example of this is the inclusion of visually impaired members of the SEED network in the early stages of designing and testing new software before it is used by Fujitsu employees across Europe. Similarly, our online e-learning courses are designed with visually impaired users in mind, with members of SEED also testing the courses before wider release.
Furthermore, as members of the Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology, Fujitsu recognises the need to ensure that IT solutions can be used by all sectors of the community and their intended audience, irrespective of ability/disability whether visual, age, auditory or physical. This is particularly important for our customers, right across the public and private sectors. We are their partners in ensuring that their workforce can access the technology which enables them to do their jobs.
Examples of customers we have worked with include the Home Office, where we provide a dedicated Service Manager to support disabled users to enable them to be effective in their role. We have received numerous plaudits for the support we provide to the Home Office. For the HMRC we support approximately 1,250 staff with particular needs, with Fujitsu’s engineers responsible for installing hardware for around 600 of these users.
I am proud of Fujitsu’s record of supporting disabled people. We will continue to build on our commitment and success in supporting people with disabilities, both within the company and alongside our customers and partners, supporting the Disability Confident campaign, as well as playing our part in industry bodies such as the Business Disability Forum and the Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology. By working together we can reduce barriers through adaptions and accessible technologies to focus on an individual’s talents and abilities. Providing a workplace which is accessible and open to everyone, whatever their disability, is of paramount importance in creating a society in which all can thrive.
Image Credit: Jenny Morros
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