3. Creating a Supportive Environment
NHSScotland Boards have to help create an inclusive and welcoming environment for people to work in. Organisations need to look at how their staff can help to create a supportive environment for employees with learning disabilities.
Staff Equality and Diversity Training
All NHSScotland Boards have to show that staff are:
- Well informed
- Properly trained and experienced
- Given information so they can make the right decisions
- Treated fairly by everyone with dignity and respect, in an environment where diversity is valued
- Given a good and safe working environment, which adds to the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and the wider community.
Training in NHSScotland Boards already exists, but more training about learning disability would be helpful.
Important parts of the training would be:
- removing wrong ideas about learning disabilities
- organisations that get it right for people with a learning disability will be better at supporting other disabilities
- when managers give work to people with a range of different skills, they get better at picking jobs that fit employee's strengths and make the team stronger
- everyone is different
- be flexible and inclusive when employing staff
- know about 'reasonable adjustments'
- communicating in an accessible way
- being proud of learning disabilities within the organisation.
Think about involving people with a learning disability as part of your training.
Staff Engagement Groups
Staff engagement groups are a good way of supporting staff to give their views. They can be a safe space for sharing experiences of work; thinking through what is working well, and not so well; learning from their experiences; and coming up with ideas.
Listening to staff will help managers find out if additional support is needed.
Some things to think about when setting up a Staff Engagement Group:
- Should the group have a leader?
- How does the group report back to the management team?
- Is there a place set aside for the group to meet?
- Give staff the time to go to the meetings.
Learning Disability Champions
Learning disability champions are volunteers who are the best people to talk to about learning disabilities in their organisation, and they show other workers the best way to do things.
This includes giving information about learning disabilities to colleagues, raising awareness and working with other organisations.
A Learning Disability Champion would be in charge of:
- Looking after the safety and wellbeing of employees with learning disabilities
- Sharing what they've learned about the best way to do things across the organisation
- Making sure communications are in an accessible format
- Supporting the training and employment of employees with learning disabilities
- Working with employees with a learning disability, managers and staff groups
- Supporting colleagues who are new to working with someone with a learning disability.
Someone with a learning disability might need more individual support for different parts of their role. This could be during training and induction or when doing some parts of their job.