Could you start a hiring chain?
Just 4.8% of those identified as having a learning disability are in employment - at Aurora Foxes, we’re trying to change this. (base-uk)
Many employers are anxious about taking on someone with a learning disability as they don’t know what to expect or what they might need to do, which is why we’ve created some communication tips to help guide you.
Find out why employing our graduates makes sense, and how a few simple adjustments can help you get the most out of the recruitment process and the ongoing relationship with your employee.
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a lifelong condition which can limit a person’s capacity through damage to the brain or central nervous system. The causes of a learning disability fall into three categories;
- Those with a genetic origin, for example, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome and William’s Syndrome.
- Those that are caused by external or environmental factors, for example infections during pregnancy.
- Those that are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, for example, Autism, Asperger’s and Global Development Delay.
Aurora Foxes Graduates
- Foxes graduates have mild learning disabilities that don't limit their ability to live an independent and fulfilling life
- Each graduate has acquired professional skills and abilities which they use in the workplace
What are the benefits of employing someone with a learning disability in your workplace?
People with a learning disability make great employees:
- Generally, they’re more likely to stay in jobs for longer, saving recruitment costs.
- Many employers report that staff morale increases when working with someone who has a learning disability, as they break down cultural barriers and bring teams together.
- Employing a Foxes graduate can impact on your workplace culture, meaning your teams become happier, more tolerant and this can result in greater productivity!
- It can help you become a part of the Government’s Disability Confident employer scheme: Disability Confident employer scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The return on investment of maximising your talent pool is undeniable. Customers are far more likely to buy from organisations that reflect their own values. In one customer survey*, 92% of customers said that they felt favourable towards companies that employed people with disabilities.
Around 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability of some kind, 83% acquire this disability during their lifetime. Therefore, can you afford to miss out on the custom of over 13 million individuals who have an estimated spending power of around £250 billion***? The benefits of employing a Foxes graduate can also impact on your workplace culture, meaning your teams become happier, more tolerant and thus resulting in greater productivity!
*Dr Stephen Beyer Lead in Learning Disability Employment National Centre for Mental Health Cardiff University Nov 2017
** Research into the ‘Purple Pound’ Nov 2017
- Be patient, and listen
- If you don’t understand, ask them to repeat themselves
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Use pictures, symbols and written information where possible
- Don’t correct, or speak for the young person
- Ask questions which provide options for choice or re-word a question to help them to understand
- Use descriptive gestures to illustrate what you’re saying
- Make good eye contact, unless the young person doesn’t like to be directly looked at
If you’re not in a position right now to be able to offer a job, it may be worth considering work experience opportunities.
Work experience offers a way to help break down barriers and help to develop both employer and employee confidence.
If you’d like to offer work experience to our students or find out more, please contact our Work Experience Coordinator:
How your contribution benefits:
- Provides an opportunity for the young person to transfer their skills
- Builds self-esteem and confidence in the young person
- Offers a ‘real life’ working environment
- Encourages the young person to expand on their social skills
- Gives the young person a taste of their chosen career
- Has a positive impact on work culture
- Brings teams together