We encourage the profession to use our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) framework and other materials to ensure colleagues with disabilities feel supported in the workplace as Disability History Month begins .
Our President Lubna Shuja said, “Throughout November and December, we will be sharing stories of legal professionals with disabilities to help inform actions the profession can take for greater disability, health and disability inclusion. of well-being.
“Our Legally disabled? A report with Cardiff Business School found that lawyers working in medium to large sector organizations were more likely to have experiences that were detrimental to their wellbeing than those working in small private sector organisations. These experiences affected their ability to fulfill their role.
“Legal professionals with disabilities also found that their career paths could be more precarious and unpredictable due to health-related career interruptions, rigid work practices, accessibility issues and employers who were not willing to facilitate adjustments.
“Based on this research, we developed easy wins and action points for disability inclusion in small and large businesses and organizations. These included questions to kick-start discussions and starting points for other work.We have also published guidance on reasonable adjustments that shares best practice from across the profession.
“I also encourage our members to use our D&I framework, as it enables workplaces to set evidence-based goals for their organization and ensure that the change they seek lasts. It also helps to set a goal, develop a plan, and ensure sustained performance.
“If the research has revealed one thing, it’s that disability has been largely overlooked when it comes to improving D&I in the workplace. I’m glad that’s changing, but there’s still a lot to do.
“It’s important that employers approach discussions with their employees with disabilities in a positive and constructive way.”
Disabled Lawyers Network
Not only does Disability History Month focus on the history of the struggle of people with disabilities for equality and human rights, but it is also a platform on how we can bring more inclusive changes.
Lubna Shuja said, “Our Disabled Solicitors Division is now the Disabled Solicitors Network*, as it better reflects the social model of disability, which was developed by people with disabilities and which we support.
“The social model of disability says that people are disabled by barriers in society and people’s attitudes, not by their impairment or difference.
“These changes were made after consultation with the Network committees, made up of people from the communities concerned.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in our networks as they strive to improve the experiences in the profession for female, disabled, Black, Asian, ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ lawyers.” **
Notes to Editors
Read our easy wins and action points for disability inclusion
Read our reasonable adjustments in organizations guidelines
* On November 1, the Law Society changed the names of all of its Division Committees, after our Council accepted the recommendations of an independent review of our communities.
**Our Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division, LGBT+ Lawyers Division and Women Lawyers Division are now known as our Ethnic Lawyers Network, LGBTQ+ Lawyers Network and Women Lawyers Network .
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