New Commission

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AchieveAbilityEMPLOYEE01

If you are an Employer with dyslexic and neurodivergent (autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, asperger’s) staff please could you participate in the above survey.

We will be having a further evidence session in March to hear from the workplace and the survey with this evidence session is important to the final commission report.

Intended outcomes of the Commission
To close the dyslexic and neurodivergent employment gap
To demonstrate barriers to recruitment
To consider how dyslexic and neurodivergent people deal with disclosure
To profile a set of good practice case studies
To outline a series of recommendations on policy, law and practice
To feed into the government’s stated aim of Halving the Disability Employment Gap


Please also find a paper version which you can print out [pdf]

Also the new Dyslexic Adult Network Network News [pdf]


We already have had over 400 responses to the survey for the dyslexic and neurodivergent voice.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AchieveAbility01


If you are dyslexic/neurodivergent (autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, asperger’s) please could you participate in the survey.

Just click on the above link

Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC)

email:



Mobile: 07375655699
Twitter.com//AchieveAbility1
www.achieveability.org/main/policy/new-commission
Barry Sheerman MP Chair
Lord Dominic Addington Adviser

Commission working group (day to day organisation)
Craig Kennady
Katherine Hewlett
Melanie Jameson
Pierre Marsh
Ross Cooper
Richard Todd

Experts have already provided evidence to the Commission: Nasser Siabi OBE, Microlink, Chris Rossiter, British Psychological Society, Margaret Malpas MBE from the British Dyslexia Association and Andrew Sutherland lead on the ACAS report.

More sessions are to happen in early 2017: ’Policy and Practice’ and the ‘Neurodivergent Voice’, with the surveys now in place this evidence will feed into the government goal of ‘Halving the Disability Employment Gap’ by 2020. The result is to find out how recruitment and probation processes might be improved and to highlight good practice in these areas.

Press release for December 2016
Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC)

The Westminster AchieveAbility Commission is user lead and focuses on adults with dyslexia and neurodivergence in the UK, Barry Sheerman MP is President and Lord Addington is adviser. The Commission is now investigating the barriers to employment to identify recruitment processes that disadvantage neurodivergent people (those with ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, autism and Asperger Syndrome). Since dyslexic people and those who are neurodivergent represent the highest percentage of adults who are disabled this, Commission is vital in order to represent the issues for this community, as well as revealing their value and strengths within the workplace. The work will provide much needed evidence and build on the research of the recent ACAS report 'Neurodiversity at Work'. Experts have already provided evidence to the Commission: Nasser Siabi OBE, Microlink, Chris Rossiter, British Psychological Society, Margaret Malpas MBE from the British Dyslexia Association and Andrew Sutherland lead on the ACAS report. More sessions are to happen in early 2017: ’Policy and Practice’ and the ‘Neurodivergent Voice’, with the surveys now in place this evidence will feed into the government goal of ‘Halving the Disability Employment Gap’ by 2020. The result is to find out how recruitment and probation processes might be improved and to highlight good practice in these areas.

The Commission has been formed from a collaboration of AchieveAbility, the Autism Commission, the Dyslexia Adult Network and the Dyspraxia Foundation and aims to bring about positive change by bringing people together to publish and promote this evidence. The ensuing report will list who has provided key evidence and will outline a series of recommendations to be launched during Dyslexia Awareness Week, October 2017. This work will provide other campaigning groups a platform from which to push this agenda further, aligned with the government’s stated aim of ‘Halving the Disability Employment Gap’. With a Green Paper on employment now published, there could be no better time to highlight the employment needs of this large population and point to better recruitment practices for the global economy.

END
Working group Katherine Hewlett, Craig Kennady, Melanie Jameson, Richard Todd, Pierre Marsh. Ross Cooper
Email: Westcommission@Achieveability.org.uk
Mobile: 07375655699
Website: http://www.achieveability.org.uk/main/policy/new-commission
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Message from the Chair Greetings, all.

What has marked the period since the last edition of Network News (end of September 2016) is the expansion in working with partners. This has arisen due to DAN’s engagement with the government Green Paper on employment and disability: Improving Lives. Sharing perspectives and identifying common ground with other organisations and networks makes for interesting interactions – See more details in the Partnership Working section. Our dialogue with the Minister for Disabled

People was interrupted by the change of personnel but, having made initial contact with Penny Mordaunt early on, we shall follow this up shortly with a letter laying out our concerns about the representation of dyslexia/ND within the disability employment agenda. I shall be stepping down in June, after my two year stint as Chair. DAN is now well-established within disability networks and has made a worthwhile contribution to Disability Confident guidance but has yet to make sufficient impact on the way dyslexia is understood across the delivery of Access to Work (AtW)– despite providing training in 2015. We are monitoring the new AtW contracts to try and ensure that dyslexia/ND is not ‘tucked away’ within mental health provisions. Melanie Jameson

UPDATES from DAN First of all, we welcome AchieveAbility onto the DAN steering committee. The two groups had already been working closely together through regular contacts between DAN Chair, Melanie Jameson, and Katherine Hewlett of AchieveAbility. This co-operation increased when Richard Todd (who represents the Dyspraxia Foundation) and Melanie (for DAN) became part of the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission on Recruitment and Dyslexia/ND. Much of DAN’s energies have been taken up with engaging with the government’s long-stated aim of ‘Halving the Disability Employment Gap’ and responding to consultations both from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Disabilities, and from the DWP, on shaping this initiative.

Becki Morris, our Communications Officer, reports on an SpLD conference on adults at Sheffield University on February 9th (@SpLDSheffield) hosted by The Codpast (@thecodpast) and the SpLD Society with Dr Julian Elliott, Lord David Blunkett and Professor Rod Nicolson, among others. The ensuing debate can be followed on #SpLDdebate17. The twitter discussion focused on Elliott’s usual theme of whether the word ‘dyslexia’ is useful. It was emphatically agreed that questioning the existence of dyslexia, and therefore not offering support to students and school pupils, was wholly inappropriate. More than this, the focus should be to concentrate on removing stigma and misunderstanding, before we start challenging the actual word ‘dyslexia’. It was agreed that dyslexia was not just linked to reading problems, but encompassed other areas such as working memory and organisation.

[pdf]

The Guardian newspaper is asking for people to speak about their experiences in the workplace with a hidden disability. I’ve asked the journalist what is the context of the piece but they have not been forward with this. I’ve also been told via email that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The journalist is frances.ryan.freelance@guardian.co.uk
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DAN Winter Network News
Melanie Jameson Chair 
New Commission to investigate recruitment and Dyslexia/Neurodiversity
Written by Melanie Jameson for AchieveAbility , Chair of the Dyslexia Adult Network

Commission for ‘An inquiry into recruitment practice for dyslexic and neurodivergent people’

‘Opening doors to employment '


https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AchieveAbility01


Dyslexia and Neurodivergent-friendly approaches to job recruitment – wouldn’t that be a goal worth pursuing? This issue was identified following a recent meeting in Parliament, initiated by AchieveAbility, on matters affecting adults with Dyslexia/Neurodiversity. It is to be investigated through the establishment of a temporary commission, running for twelve months from October 2016.

This will be a multifaceted piece of work, championed from within Parliament in order to have the maximum impact. As Chair of the Dyslexia Adult Network I have been invited to join the working group. In our initial meeting (July) we considered evidence to justify a commission, mapped out the process and determined the key players. There has now been a second meeting (October 2016) to plan the Commission work: Barry Sheerman MP, will chair, and Lord Addington (well known to BDA) will advise.

We expect the key questions for the commission to include the following:
What data exists to demonstrate that dyslexic/neurodiverse people have a greater chance of unemployment?
What are the barriers when they seek to take up employment?
What are the recruitment processes that disadvantage dyslexic/neurodiverse people?
What might be done to improve recruitment processes?

The necessary information will be gathered in various ways: through a call for evidence, a survey, and through witness from experts invited to present to the Commission. Bearing in mind the neurodiversity of the population who will wish to contribute, our methods will include Skype and input from those who prefer to express themselves visually. In addition to documenting the barriers, case studies of good practice will be sought.

There will be surveys as the first stage of evidence gathering followed by a more formal call for evidence goes in the New Year. The focus will then move to pulling out recommendations and considering the overall shape of the report. When the Commission meets again in July it will initiate report writing and finalise plans for publication. We plan to launch the report during Dyslexia Awareness Week in October 2017.

The final report should be as accessible as possible, with clear recommendations. This will provide other campaigning groups, such as the Dyslexia Adult Network, with a platform from which to push this agenda further. Having raised the issue at the parliamentary level, it will be harder for the Department for Work and Pensions to ignore our input, which is aligned with the government’s stated aim of halving the Disability Employment Gap. With a Green Paper on employment on the way, there could be no better time to highlight the value of Dyslexic and Neurodivergent workforce to the economy
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Westminster AchieveAbility Commission: Opening doors
Richard Todd, Pierre Marsh, Lord addington, Alicia Browne, Barry Sheerman MP, Katherine Hewlett, Melanie Jameson,Dr Ross Cooper, Craig Kennady