BT, a UK telecommunications company, has adopted leading inclusion practices for people with disabilities – first, by setting the tone at the top. The company chairperson is a member of the Business Disability Forum’s President’s Group, and the Group General Counsel and Company Secretary is the company’s Inclusion Champion. The company has a Customer Inclusion Leadership Panel of experts in the field of aging and disability who provide BT with ongoing independent advice on inclusion measures.
The company measures, tracks and reports its self-declared disability rate, currently 5.3%, with 4.1% of new recruits registered in 2013 as disabled. BT actively promotes the recruitment, development and retention of people with disabilities. They put applicants with a disability or long-term health condition, who meet the minimum criteria for a vacancy through to the first stage of the recruitment process. BT’s Enable (reasonable adjustment) service advises employees who have disabilities about adjustments available to support employees in their jobs and in situations where they are returning to work. This may involve recommending special furniture, equipment, hardware or software, job re-design or adjustments to working hours. The service also supports employees who have become unable to fulfill a specific role, due to disability, illness or injury to position them to find an alternative career path within the company.
BT is equally committed to customer inclusion. They follow inclusive design principles to make sure their products can be used by any of their customers, regardless of their ability. They have a comprehensive understanding impairments website to help disabled customers identify products and services tailored to their needs, whether hearing, sight, mobility, dexterity, speech and language and understanding and using technology. BT’s product catalogue includes a section on inclusion phones.
The company achieved a silver level ranking on a UK Disability Standard assessment in 2012 for their work in this area.
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