National Inclusion Week Spotlight Day #3 - National Trust
Summary: National Inclusion Week is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of Inclusion and Diversity in the workplace by Inclusive Employers. This year we want to spotlight businesses that have made accessibility and disability inclusion a priority, which we hope will encourage other organisations to embed inclusion in their policies and strategies because when the workplace is accessible – everyone wins!
Today’s disability inclusion spotlight: National Trust – Conservation Organisation
Today we are celebrating their: Inclusive Workplace Culture
Back in June the BBC interviewed Hayden Rustage, who is a volunteer welcome assistant for the National Trust. He gives guided tours at a Grade II listed building called Newton House and offers support around Dinefwr Park in Wales.
Hayden also said: “There was a time when I myself was ashamed to have autism”. He didn’t want people to know that he had a lifelong, developmental disability but he says he has become a lot more open about it in the last year thanks to his position at the National Trust.
Why it’s great:
· Hayden says he’s become much more ‘open’ to everyone, which is a “far cry” from how he used to be before he started volunteering with the National Trust. By providing a safe volunteer environment where Hayden could be himself and develop his social skills, he has improved the customer experience at Newton House by making them feel welcome.
· Recruiting volunteers or employees with disabilities can be a great way to challenge Unconscious Bias within your organisation, which can have an impact on the kind of service your team provides customers with disabilities. In his interview Hayden mentioned that there’s a myth that people with autism don’t have a sense of humour, so he’s glad to have the opportunity to disprove this by making his colleagues and guests at Newton House laugh.