Supported Employment providers bemix and The Specialist Employment Service part of The Education People are delighted to have teamed up to create a brand new award category in the 2019 KEiBAs (Kent Excellence in Business Awards).

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

With encouragement from our friends at Family Business Place, one of KEiBA's partners, we decided to develop a new Awards category 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 part of 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. We believe in collaboration over competition and know that working together means better employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties and/or autism in Kent and Medway.

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 visual, auditory, physical, learning difficulty/disability, mental illness, autism.

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, 2019.

Judges 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