Nationwide recently welcomed guest speakers from the National Autistic Society, Wiltshire Sight and Swindon Mind Support to our Swindon Head Office to celebrate International Day of Disabled Persons with the business. Nationwide Employees were also able to participate in an online internal discussion, which saw over 600 people engage in the conversation.
What is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a worldwide event that highlights people living with disabilities. According to the UN, the world’s population is over 7 billion people. More than one billion people, or approximately 15% of the world's population, live with some form of disability.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated every year, with a different theme, to increase the awareness of people with disabilities.
“ It's really exciting for Nationwide to be running this event for the first time. It’s fantastic to invite guest speakers to Nationwide to increase awareness and understanding about disabilities ”
Why does Nationwide celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an international celebration of people with disabilities. It aims to increase awareness and in doing so, create understanding to encourage people with disabilities both in the workplace and in life.
Nationwide’s Disability Employee Network have run disability events in the past, and following feedback from focus groups run with our disabled employees, it was decided that this year we would run an event that would have a bigger impact across the business.
“ I think it's really important we educate our employees about different types of disability, especially those that aren't always obvious. I knew absolutely nothing about autism and how it can affect people before International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I think it's great that we're putting so much focus on this at Nationwide ”
We’re eager to change the lack of awareness and understanding, as well as diminish the traditional perspective of disabilities being physical, which is why we spent the day answering questions, sharing experiences and celebrating diversity at Nationwide.
Getting first-hand experience
During the day, Nationwide employees had the opportunity to experience, question and learn about disabilities from their colleagues and guest speakers.
The National Autistic Society brought along virtual reality headsets to illustrate sensory overload. Employees were demonstrated the experiences of visual impairments by Wiltshire Sight, and Swindon Mind Support led discussions on what working and living with anxiety can feel like.
“ It was great to be part of such a positive event, promoting diversity and inclusion at Nationwide, in a fun and interesting way. Nationwide has many employees that are great role models and ambassadors, for how autism and Asperger syndrome can be a real strength with the appropriate support. A particular hit on the day with the employees who visited our stand, was our virtual reality experience, which created a real buzz and lots of lively discussion. ”
There were also opportunities for a Q&A and to speak to some of Nationwide’s employees with disabilities about their experiences on an internal online platform.
“ I am really pleased to have been involved in the International Day of Disabled Persons 2016. It was a fantastic event that raises awareness of the disabilities that exist within the company. I look forward to further supporting our Disability Employee Network in creating greater awareness and understanding going forward. ”
Nationwide and disability
We’re committed to supporting our disabled employees and candidates. We’re looking to continue to focus on our workplace adjustments process and to further educate our colleagues to create a disability confident workforce.
“ We've a responsibility to create an environment at work where we not only do the right thing but we celebrate each other’s differences. I can personally relate to this as my son has Asperger’s and I’m passionate about doing what I can to ensure that when he and others with disabilities enter, or are part of the workplace they have the best possible experience. ”