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July 29, 2004

Business award and free training up for grabs

From: Online Recruitment, UK - Jul 29, 2004

Free disability awareness training for small businesses is up for grabs and RNID, the largest charity representing the nine million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK, is urging take up on the offer.

By being accessible to disabled people by the end of September, small businesses across the country will not only be within deadline of the Disability Discrimination Act, they could also be eligible for a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) award.

Deaf and disability awareness training offered free of charge by RNID gives businesses and their staff an understanding of disability issues to ensure they do not inadvertently prejudice customers, potentially putting employers at risk of litigation.

If small businesses are already thinking of taking part in the DWP Access all Areas Award, this may be another means of helping each member of staff think about what they could individually do to make their area of work more accessible.

Irini Korompilia, Projects Manager at RNID says: "Discrimination often comes about from misconceptions of what disability is. To prevent organisational discrimination it is essential to shatter these stereotypes to truly make an organisation open to all customers."

RNID commissioned research found that over 69 per cent of small business are not planning to make any changes to ensure equal accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing customers*. These organisations could face costly court cases and the free training RNID offers would make a huge difference to businesses with very little investment on their part. Importantly, if businesses are DDA compliant it also opens them up to the spending power of disabled people in the UK estimated at £50 billion1.

For businesses demonstrating the best practice in accessibility could put themselves forward for recognition through the DWP's Access all Areas Award with the deadline for applications being just a day before the final access duties come into full force on 1st October 2004. The Access all Areas Award is open to organisations with fewer than 100 employees. For more information log onto link below

Free deaf and disability awareness training is available from RNID for organisations with fewer than 250 employees. For further information, please contact training services on 0207 296 8060 or,

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