Today is Learning Disability Week (#LDWeek22), a time to raise awareness and challenge stigmas around learning disabilities. At Morton Fraser, disability inclusion has always been important to us, as we continue our vital work in making sure a career in law is open to all through attracting and developing talented individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. We pride Morton Fraser on being a place of belonging, where anyone can thrive.
Inclusivity shouldn't be about making promises, but focusing on tangible action, which is why we are making real efforts: from our implementation of contextualised recruitment software RARE during our traineeship recruitment process, to our blind CV policy. To mark the day, we hear more from our Disabilities Employee Resource Group on the actions we are taking at the Firm and their impact:
Mencap's annual Learning Disability Week campaign is all about making sure the world hears what life is like for a person with a learning disability.
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life. People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.
However, with the right support, most people with a learning disability can lead full and independent lives. The level of support someone needs depends on the individual and this is of equal importance in their working lives as it is in their personal lives.
For example, someone with a mild learning disability may only need support with things like getting a job. However, someone with a severe or profound learning disability may need fulltime care and support with every aspect of their life – they may also have physical disabilities.
This year, the theme of LDW2022 is to highlight how people with a learning disability are reconnecting with friends and their communities following the end of the COVID restrictions. Mencap are also seeking to focus on the issues many people still face, like still having to isolate or dealing with poor mental health and anxiety. One of the main drivers is helping people with a learning disability to gain confidence/access to the workplace. The pandemic has been incredibly difficult on everyone, but for those of us who have a disability, there have been additional impacts of the isolation and restrictions.
Our Disabilities Employee Resource Group is made up of a number of disabled people within Morton Fraser and we ensure that the policies of the firm are informed and focused in connection with disability inclusion (of all types). We work closely with the Law Society of Scotland on their equalities and inclusion work. In the past 6 months, we have seen a marked increase in the requests for assistance for individuals who are seeking to join the profession, but who need a little extra support in doing so - that can be anything from focusing a CV properly or interview techniques.
At Morton Fraser, we pride ourselves on our approach to diversity and inclusion and the fact that "anyone should be able to have a career in law". This means being involved at all levels: school leavers, university students and members of the legal profession to educate, support and challenge stereotypes of how can have a career in law with us.
From our involvement in the PRIME initiative, our recruitment process (the use of blind CVs and RARE recruitment) and the Mindful Business Charter, we are striving to ensure that we are the most inclusive and supportive workplace possible. Our culture promotes 'diversity, inclusivity and belonging'. We value talent from all backgrounds as we know that it is these different perspectives that set us apart as a firm.
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