Given the role of DAS and the charity’s main stated object “to bring relief to the disabled” the subject of discrimination is close to our hearts and something which we tackle on a daily basis.
We have a long-standing policy on this subject which covers equal opportunity, bullying and harassment; staff, volunteer and management responsibilities; and procedures for dealing with alleged harassment or bullying. We also maintain a Safeguarding Policy & Procedure which, among other things, focuses staff and volunteer attention on detecting potential abuse. Our vulnerable client are more prone to this than non-disabled. Incidents recorded are reported by the manager in their monthly report which is reviewed by the Management Committee at its monthly meetings.
Our recruitment policy is to favour the employment of disabled people where possible and to provide disabled people with volunteer opportunities.
In delivering our services we focus entirely on the disabled and their carers but we do not make a distinction in terms of the type of disability. That is to say we deal with clients who have any physical and/or mental health issues, not one or the other or sub-sections thereof. We do not discriminate on the other grounds that make up the other protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010: age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. At the same time we do not monitor the clients we advise or support by these categories. In this context two of the key characteristics: race/ethnicity and belief/religion (see charts below) reported on by Suffolk Observatory show that East Suffolk has very limited populations in the minority categories relative to the East of England area and England as a whole.