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Empowering and supporting staff and service users who have a disability

We are pleased to share that Cygnet has recently signed up to the Government Disability Confident scheme as a Disability Confident Committed Employer.

This means we are pledging to make a difference for people with a disability.

As a Disability Confident Committed Employer we have committed to:

  • ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible,
  • communicating and promoting vacancies,
  • offering an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job,
  • anticipating and providing reasonable adjustments as required,
  • supporting any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work, and
  • committing to at least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people.

What is Cygnet doing to support staff with disabilities?

Our Diversity and Inclusion strategy sets out our ambitions to support flexible ways of working and learning by ensuring that requests for flexible working arrangements are considered and that they are consistent with the needs of the service and the way people lead their lives.

Supporting staff with hidden disabilities

A non-visible or ‘hidden’ disability is a disability or health condition that is not immediately obvious. It can defy stereotypes of what people might think disabled people look like.

This can make it difficult for people with non-visible disabilities to access what they need. The impact of living with a non-visible disability can be slight, or can have a huge effect on someone’s life.

The role of deaf colleagues in supporting service users

At Cygnet, we are one of the largest mental health deaf services in the UK and we employ a number of clinical and supporting staff who are deaf themselves.

We ensure that deaf members of staff have the communication support they need to work effectively and meaningfully with deaf service users and their hearing colleagues within the multidisciplinary teams.

Our deaf staff play important roles not just as part of the care support team, but also as role models for the service users. Deaf members of staff demonstrate directly to the service users that they can have successful or meaningful lives, which helps to give hope and purpose for their own future.

In addition, the staff provide cultural and linguistic links to our service users’ recovery journey, which is incredibly valuable as they share the same culture, identity and language. We think it is a crucial part of the recovery process, to be cared for by people who share their culture, language and identity.

Our journey to being a Disability Confident Employer

While we’ve signed up to the first level of the government Disability Committed Employer scheme we know there’s lots more Cygnet needs to do to progress to Level 3 certification. We are on a journey to proactively advance equality and inclusion within all our working policies and practices.

Ultimately, we are working to improve the quality of care for our service users and their loved ones, because when the individuals in our care see themselves represented in our colleagues, it can help them feel safe, supported and empowered to live their best lives.

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