This week marks National Inclusion Week, but what does that mean?
National Inclusion Week is a week-long event every year, set up by ‘Inclusive Employers’, dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion in the workplace and taking action to make your workplace more inclusive.
Inclusion is “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.” and “the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.”
This year, National Inclusion Week is taking place from 26th September to 2nd October.
What we do at Cosmic
We have several Staff Working Groups that cover topics like Environment, Wellbeing, Customer Service, and Diversity and Inclusion. Staff from across our different teams are involved in these Groups, and plans are put in place to develop ideas and actions on these topics.
For Diversity and Inclusion, they work to develop actions not just for the workplace, but also how our digital training can be developed to support our participants going forward.
We’ve shared some of the things our staff have done over the past several months of 2022 to develop actions into how we can be more diverse and inclusive.
April to June 2022:
Staff attended 2 SEND training courses which were delivered internally, based on an interview with a mentor on the Disability Connect scheme, and an interview with a project participant.
Lock & Key: ADHD
A training session on how to move out of your comfort zones and look at accessible training from someone else's experience. This training session showed how we can apply the principles for neurodiversity to ADHD, and how we might adapt and deliver training for a specific person with ADHD.
“Really good material guys. Confirmed a lot of things I had been thinking but not been implementing. Will use some of this going forward.”
“I absolutely loved this session; it has confirmed a lot of things I knew (without being aware of it) and I've also learnt a thing or two!”
“I really enjoyed the training and took a lot of information from it. I know that I have been quick to judge some of the characteristics that can fall under ADHD symptoms, and it was good to have the opportunity to reflect on that and build a better understanding so that I can do better in the future. I can also see that of course it is important to provide universal support, but it is helpful to have an awareness of particular symptoms or features of neurodiversity so I can adapt better to learners in the future. I enjoyed the mixture of tasks in the session.”
Lock & Key: The Interview
This explored how we structure training for an individual with a learning disability where the information is thin on the ground, and how we might produce training that is accessible across the board.
“I thought this session was good to get the team to put their new skills into practice. I liked the angle of an undefined learning difficulty because it showed how you could use the knowledge of ADHD, Autism etc, but adapt it with the input and support of the participant. Really positive session.”
Both sessions were extremely well received, with all the Cosmic staff who attended stating they had learned something which they could apply in their daily jobs.
Working with The Hub
During June and July 2022, Cosmic and Positive People Somerset have held several workshops at The Hub in Yeovil. The Hub provides support and training to empower the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism, helping each individual achieve their own personal independence, support their community and work together, beyond disability.
Cosmic and Positive People have run workshops helping to support The Hub users with their digital skills, with sessions on staying safe online, how to use apps and how to make the most of searching online as well as having fun making digital art and music!
The digital world is part of everyday life and we have been proud to help the users of The Hub help navigate it safely.
In May we delivered Online Safety training for service users at Headway Devon. this was a fantastic learning opportunity for the team involved and highlighted how we can work closely with the experts to perfect and develop our resources and approach topics to support all sorts of learners.
“Thank you for creating such a wonderful, tailored presentation for us today on Staying Safe Online. We had a tricky client group today, with two or three people who find it very hard to concentrate and follow more complex issues due to their brain injuries, and it was really great to see them all listening, comprehending and even asking questions. This is entirely due to your relaxed, friendly and accessible presentation style and also the way you broke down some complex issues into very easy-to-understand segments.”
We continue to undertake training and share resources within Cosmic, understanding how we can improve our diversity and inclusion today and into the future.
Internal Diversity and Inclusion – Our Resources
Earlier this year, our Staff Working Group for Diversity and Inclusion presented to our internal staff on how we can be more inclusive. You can discover some of the Top Tips the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group shared for how we can be more diverse and inclusive.
We can support our own feeling of inclusion, and our ability to include others by broadening our understanding of the world. Here are some tools and resources we’ve found:
- The Hippy Trippy TikTok
- Proud2Be YouTube Channel
- Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Course
- Special Books by Special Kids
- Some Families Podcast
- Basics of Inclusive Design for Digital Education Course
- Saleh Family
- I’m Not Your Baby Mother – Candice Braithwaite
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Simon Stephens
- Jessica Kellfren Fozard
- Diversify - June Sarpong
- Windswept and Interesting - Billy Connolly
- Freaks, Geeks and Asperger’s Syndrome - Luke Jackson
- Scattered Minds Gabor Mate
- Designing for a Diverse and Inclusive Future Course
Is Your Business United for Online Inclusion: https://reciteme.com/news/is-your-business-united-for-online-inclusion/
The Benefits of having a Diverse Network: https://www.inclusiveemployers.co.uk/blog/the-benefits-of-having-a-diverse-network/