The Programme in detail
How do employers achieve the Accessibility Tick?
In order to receive the Accessibility Tick, member employers need to demonstrate a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, and take tangible steps towards becoming more accessible and inclusive. It is necessary for the organisation's leadership to visibly demonstrate their commitment to accessibility throughout the company.
Although we do not expect organisations to have fully achieved all of the competencies in order to obtain the Tick during the first year, we do expect a commitment to accessibility in all nine competencies from the CEO or MD level and meaningful steps towards improving accessibility.
Our reasoning for this approach is to encourage organisations to commit and begin their journey towards accessibility. If we withheld the tick until they had achieved full accessibility in all areas, most employers would find it too difficult and give up.
Our ultimate goal is to reduce the disability employment gap, which cannot be achieved without the involvement of engaged employers. The sooner we can encourage employers to commit to beginning their journey, and taking small steps toward greater accessibility and workplace disability equity, the better.
At the conclusion of each year, we conduct another assessment and evaluate the progress made towards achieving the action plan for that year. In order to maintain the Tick, there must be continuous improvement shown. It is necessary to make progress in the accessibility journey without regressing in any of the competencies.
Organisations undertaking the Accessibility Tick Programme are a part of the Empower membership tier with the NZ Disability Employers' Network, receive a broad range of benefits.
Steps in the Programme
Organisations interested in participating in the Accessibility Tick programme make contact with the NZDEN team to initiate the process. The application process involves completing a short form that provides basic information about your organisation.
2. Gap Analysis
Upon joining, we provide members with Evidence Collection materials, and book in a time for an in-depth initial assessment, where we explore together the evidence collected to create a deep understanding of the organisations current state. The assessment includes a complete review across nine areas of competency.
- Physical Environment
- Recruitment and Selection
- Employer Support / Workplace Adjustments
- Communications and Marketing
- Products and Services
- Information Communication Technology
- Career Development
- Suppliers and Partners
3. Creating an Action Plan
Once the assessment is complete, the organisation receives a detailed report that provides recommendations for improvement based on the organisation's current disability and neurodiversity inclusion state.
We then support the organisation in developing and implementing an achievable Annual Action Plan to improve their overall disability inclusion.
4. On-going Support and quarterly meetings
Our programme understands that it is not enough to identify and set a plan, organisations need the support to bring their Action Plans to life.
Our consultants are available to provide advice and support to organisations throughout the year.
We also organise quarterly catch-up meetings with members to review progress against their action plans and unlock any barriers.
5. Repeat annually
Steps 2 to 4 are repeated annually to support the members continual growth.
Maintaining the Tick
Being awarded the Tick is just the beginning of the journey. Accessibility and disability inclusion is not a final destination, but a continuous journey. Each year, organisations undergo a reassessment and review of their Action Plan, and must demonstrate that they have continued to move forward with their Action Plan items in order to maintain their Accessibility Tick. This involves a review of the organisation's accessibility efforts over the past year and an evaluation of its current accessibility performance.
Successful organisations have systems in place to manage different facets of their business such as quality, environmental and health and safety. The Accessibility Tick Programme uses an accessibility management system to help organisations understand, benchmark and improve disability confidence to better meet the needs of customers and employees with accessibility needs. The accessibility management system has nine areas of competency.
Each competency was chosen to align with International best practice such as the UK Disability Forum - Disability Smart Framework and the Australian Network on Disability (AND) - Access and Inclusion Index.
The nine areas of competency are:
This is about the organisation’s visible top-down commitment to continuous improvement on their accessibility and inclusion journey. This commitment will be reflected in policies, procedures and in practice.
This is about commitment to providing built environments that are physically accessible when it is practical in your business cycle to do so. We are not expecting you to retrofit all of your sites now, however we do expect that member organisations will consider accessibility with any future build, leases or renovations of their premises.
Recruitment and Selection
This competency is about having fair and equitable recruitment and selection practices that are inclusive of all, including people with accessibility needs. We help you get this right, so you can encourage candidates with accessibility needs to apply for jobs with your organisation and support them through the recruitment process.
Employer Support / Workplace Adjustments
Employer support is a very broad category. It includes processes for requesting workplace adjustments, providing reasonable adjustments, processes for supporting workers’ mental healt, processes for supporting workers to return to work after injury, illness or other incapacity, processes for supporting aging workers and health and safety considerations.
Communications and Marketing
This competency helps you make sure your internal and external communications and marketing are accessible to all employees, customers and other stakeholders.
Products and Services
With nearly 1 in 4 New Zealander’s identifying with having an accessibility need, if your organisation is not considering accessibility and inclusion in the products and services that you deliver to customers, you could be missing out on a large share of the market. A great example of this is the 2016 Click Away Pound Survey 2016 Click Away Pound Survey which found inaccessible websites costs UK retailers 11.75 billion pounds in 2015 alone. This competency is about helping you ensure your organisation is capable of serving the entire community.
Information Communication Technology
This competency is about ensuring your organisation’s ICT including hardware, software and online environments are accessible for people with access needs wherever possible. Where it is not possible to be fully accessible, alternative solutions are provided.
This competency is about supporting employees with accessibility needs in their career development so they have equal opportunities to progress their careers as their non-disabled peers.
Suppliers and Partners
This competency is really two-fold. First it helps you ensure that the goods and services that your organisation procures from your suppliers won’t inadvertently create accessibility issues. Secondly, it is about encouraging your suppliers and partners to mirror your commitment to accessibility and inclusion.