One of Channel 4’s efforts focuses on disability. You’ll probably know that Channel 4 broadcasts the Paralympics every four years, and it also produces light entertainment shows such as topical comedy chat show ‘The Last Leg’, and ‘The Undateables’, which focuses on the challenges people with disabilities face finding love. In Graeme’s words: “Both of these challenge the viewing public on their perceptions (and probably misperceptions) around disability.”
In 2016, Channel 4 declared a self-designated Year of Disability and devised a competition called ‘Superhumans Wanted’, asking advertisers to create campaign centred around disability. Graeme explained that the competition was won by confectionery company Mars, which subsequently saw an 8 per cent uplift in sales arising from the adverts.
He revealed that Channel 4 has set itself “the goal of being the best employer of people with disabilities by 2020, and has three pillars to achieve that goal.” The first is to have “the best culture – where there is no stigma, where people can be themselves, where we can have open conversations about disability, where people can ask for adjustments and support.”
The second pillar is “having the best capability and confidence – equipping managers and people to be absolutely confident about the topic of disability.”
The final pillar of Channel 4’s strategy is around “having the best infrastructure, so disabled people can thrive within that workplace,” Graeme explained, “It includes things like accessibility of IT and systems, communications, and even the building.”
This sounds very similar to the journey we are on at Sightsavers, particularly within the Social Inclusion Working Group. We are testing more of our systems and outputs to make sure they are accessible and striving to become an organisation where people can talk about disability without fear.
The talk inspired all of us to think about how we at Sightsavers can do more to help our organisation be more accessible and more open to working with staff with disabilities, where staff can seek the support that they need. Our goal for Sightsavers is to become the best at this.