L&Q host staff disability network conference

Published on 22/09/2022

Our staff disability network held their first annual conference jointly at our head office in Stratford and Sale Point in Manchester on September 14.

Live-streamed to colleagues working remotely and in Manchester, Ability’s event featured inspiring and informative talks on our new approaches to reasonable accommodations and support, cementing the importance of disability inclusion to our present and future organisation.

L&Q and THT colleagues revealed their experiences of navigating the workplace with a disability, highlighting the unique issues facing disabled people across intersections of society, from discrimination and lack of access to sensory challenges and the return to the office.

Steve Moseley, Executive Director of Governance and Transformation said:

“We are proud of our inclusive culture and the huge role all our staff networks play as driving forces for equality and diversity within and outside the organisation.

“It was fantastic to celebrate the significant achievements of Ability with colleagues from across L&Q and THT, whilst reflecting on the ongoing work we need to do to ensure the housing sector represents the communities it serves. We want people to be confident that difference is not only accepted but celebrated at L&Q.”

Reflecting on her personal experience, Development Partnerships Director, Abi Jacobs, gave practical advice on how managers and teams can work together to support disabled staff.

Matt Foreman, Director of Operations and Integration, explored the benefits of employing disabled staff, from business innovation and a larger talent pool to improved creativity and a greater understanding of residents’ needs.

The City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile, presented on the corporation’s disability network, highlighting the challenges faced, successes achieved, and lessons learned.

Representatives from Sight and Sound and Posturite talked audience members through the recent technological advancements in assistive devices, including those available to staff via L&Q and the government’s Access to Work scheme.

Launched in November 2021, Ability aims to provide a space for staff to connect, share experiences and information, and provide support. The network represents L&Q staff members in the South and THT colleagues in the Northwest, with both groups working together to raise awareness and visibility of disability issues.

Much work is underway to improve the experience of disabled colleagues at L&Q and THT. Working closely with Ability, we have developed a new sickness policy with additional short-term and long-term health procedures, provided awareness training and reasonable accommodations guidance to managers, and made changes to our hiring practices that remove barriers for disabled candidates.

Felix Lynn, L&Q Development Manager and Chair of Ability said:

“A huge thanks to everyone who attended our first conference for making it the great success it was.

"L&Q has all the tools we need to fulfil our legal obligations, but most of all, we have the drive and the determination to do the right thing by our residents and colleagues.

As we enter our second year, Ability will continue to steer L&Q towards progressive action, promoting us as a housing provider that is at the forefront of disability inclusion.”