Bluewater, Twilight Cleaning and RBLI were last year's finalists in the brand new Valuing Disability Business of the Year Award in Kent's prestigious KEiBAs. Enter now to get your business the recognition it deserves!

The award champions businesses that value disabled employees and customers, seeing their potential to add to business success. Last year's finalists showcase how businesses big and small gain from valuing disability. Bluewater is a household name placing disabled people front-of-house, Twilight Cleaning are a tiny startup punching above their weight, while RBLI are masters of social enterprise. This year, you could get your firm's name on the map as our winner or finalist!

80% of Kent’s adults are in work, but only 53% of people with disabilities get the same chance to boost Kent’s economy with their skills. As the need for local, loyal workers grows, employers tapping into the talents of disabled people are really onto something.  Through our Supported Internships job-matching programme, we have worked with many such employers across Kent and Medway over the past few years. 

"We know there are many fabulous employers in Kent and Medway who value disabled employees and the skills and experience they bring. We see examples of employers making reasonable adjustments to fully include disabled employees in their workforce and can see the value this brings to their business." - Matt Clifton, CEO bemix

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Valuing Disability Business of the Year - Category details

This category is open to any business, irrespective of size or sector, that can demonstrate commercial success through valuing disabled people who work for, and interact with, the business.

The organisation must show evidence that it has schemes, initiatives and policies that have maximum positive impact on recruiting, retaining and promoting disabled talent.

Judges will be looking for strong examples of how working with disabled people has achieved positive outcomes for business, staff and customers.

This category is not open to organisations whose primary target market is people with disabilities, or buyers of services for disabled people.

Entrants must have been trading for a minimum of two years as of March 31, 2020.

A panel of judges with and without disabilities will be looking for success and achievements in the following areas

  • Trends in your business turnover and profit levels
  • Key objectives with particular reference to valuing disability
  • How valuing disability remains a key driver in your business
  • The positive impact employing someone with a disability has had on your business, staff and customers
  • Innovative approaches to the recruitment, retention and development of disabled employees
  • How your business has benefited from employing a wider talent pool of disabled people
  • Vision for expanding your good practice in working with disabled people

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Our vision for the award

With encouragement from our friends at Family Business Place, one of KEiBA's partners, we developed a new Awards category last year to celebrate this inclusive and valuing way of working. Our aim is that it influences other businesses so that valuing employment for disabled people becomes a widespread culture within business in Kent and Medway. 

Partnering with The Specialist Employment Service from The Education People to jointly sponsor the category was a natural fit.  Their excellence in working with employers in supporting disabled people matches our ethos.

Although bemix specialises in working to ensure that people with learning difficulties and/or autism are seen, heard and belong in the workplace, this KEiBA category covers all disability including sensory, physical, learning difficulty/disability, long-term health conditions, mental illness and autism.

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