Making appropriate adjustments is not just a legal responsibility for us as an employer when considering the needs of disabled staff but something we want to do to provide the best possible support for all our employees.
The CPS applies the social model of disability. This means that we recognise the barriers faced and work to remove them, rather than asking individuals to conform to societal expectations. We focus on changing the environment (both physical and cultural) to remove the barriers. These changes could be in terms of:
Attitudes – for example applying a more positive attitude toward mental or physical traits.
Social support – for example assistance in overcoming barriers. This could be a specific type of chair, software, support from a colleague, flexible working hours, and changes to processes.
Information – for example using suitable formats or language (e.g. braille or easy read)
Physical structures – changes to buildings such as ramps for access.
We want to ensure that when we are making adjustments, we make them swiftly and effectively. To do this, we launched a WAP App on 8 July 2019, to enable individuals to create appropriate adjustments with help from their line manager. The WAP App is supported by a WAP page on our intranet which provides our employees with step by step instructions and a number of free learning resources.
The WAP App has improved accessibility features and is more flexible. The WAP owner, rather than the line manager, is responsible for creating their own online WAP requests, gaining them control over the adjustments requested and control over who can access their data. Also, with the new app the WAP becomes transferrable if a user moves to a new job, CPS Area, or other Civil Service department, providing support to colleagues both now and in the future.