Are you a Disability-Friendly Employer?

London Borough of Waltham Forest’s Employment Team supports over 250 Waltham Forest residents into employment each year, with many of these residents having barriers into employment.

We are currently focusing on an employment offer for Waltham Forest residents with learning disabilities and/or autism.

There are over 5000 adults with a learning disability living in Waltham Forest as noted in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (2018/2019). This cohort of people are significantly underrepresented in the workforce nationally and at a local level. Despite a desire to work, only 1.3% of Waltham Forest residents with a learning disability are in work.

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which affects someone for their whole life. People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people. (Mencap) There are different types of learning disabilities which means that individuals will have varying levels of ability in completing particular tasks, and will require different levels of support.

A learning disability is different from a learning difficulty. Learning difficulties don’t affect general intellect and could include dyslexia or dyscalculia.

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term to describe different ways people’s brains process information. Someone who is neurodivergent may think, learn and behave differently to what is considered “normal” or “typical”. Autism, ADHD and dyslexia are some conditions that come under the neurodiversity umbrella.

Autism is a spectrum condition which affects how people interact and communicate with the world. As it is a spectrum, people with autism are all different but there are common challenges, such as sensitivity to light, sounds and touch, repetitive patterns of behaviour and difficulties with social communication.

Why employ someone with a learning disability or neurodiverse condition?

Having a neurodiverse condition could mean having a strength in certain areas, such as, seeing the bigger picture; creativity; focus; 3D thinking; thinking outside the box; connecting ideas.

People with learning disabilities can be hard-working, reliable members of the workforce. Employers that do recruit individuals with a learning disability often report positive outcomes such as increased staff morale and reduced staff turnover.

With our support, these specialist skills can benefit your organisation.

Even more reasons to become an Inclusive Employer:

  • A more diverse workforce, brings new skills into the workplace and offers new and unique perspectives.
  • Promoting Social Responsibility and Ethical recruitment practices.
  • An opportunity for you to provide ethical and diversity-improved services and products.
  • Support with creating a diverse workforce that reflects the demographic of Waltham Forest residents and communities we operate in.
  • Improved image and external reputation.
  • An opportunity for you to advertise your roles using our extensive partner network and communication channels via the Council’s website and social media platforms.
  • Fully supported, screened applicants.
  • Matched, motivated employees from a wider talent pool.
  • On-going in-work support to ensure job retention.
  • Cost-free service with no fees and no contractual obligations.
  • Increased knowledge and confidence in employing disabled staff.
  • Local, convenient and easy to access support.
  • Help with applying for financial support via Access to Work.

Employing a Neurominority:

As Neurodiverse conditions are considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010, as an employer, you may be required to put in place reasonable adjustments to support neurodiverse / neurodivergent employees at work, which can sometimes be funded by Access to Work.

To find out how we can support your organisation in employing someone with a learning disability and / or autism, please get in touch:

Disability Confident or not, we would like to hear from you and support you to becoming Disability Confident.