How do you go beyond good intentions to build a workplace culture that actively supports disabled colleagues? In discussion with disability inclusion specialist Esi Hardy from Celebrating Disability we explore the following tips, and watch the video below to hear our discussion.

Listen to your people: Set up an employee resource group, or use existing ones, to understand the challenges people currently face and how to address them. It will be a slow burn and you will have to build trust by demonstrating you have the right intentions when asking the questions - but an effective employee group can be a powerful tool in unlocking the key issues.

Overcome the fear: Often managers and colleagues avoid discussing disability for fear of saying the wrong thing. Run business-wide learning sessions on disability topics, get senior leaders involved in the discussions and write explainer articles for your corporate comms – when you normalise the conversation around disability you open up opportunities for people to get comfortable with discussions. You also increase your chances of colleagues feeling safe enough to disclose their own disability or health condition.

Train your line managers in open conversations: Disability is a broad topic. Two people with the same condition may have completely different experiences of it and conditions can evolve and change over time. Managers can be best equipped by learning how to have regular and open conversations about health and wellbeing. They don’t need all the solutions ready to fire, but instead can learn to take a collaborative approach to find solutions that work best for each individual – whether that’s workplace adjustments, software, hardware, linking in with employee networks or simply being a supportive ear.