Wavemaker is launching a global initiative aimed at promoting understanding and awareness of disabilities and neurodiverse conditions such as autism to help support affected staff and their colleagues and attract greater numbers of disabled people into its network.
WM Enable launches today (Tuesday), which is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Wavemaker’s London headquarters will host an event featuring speakers from the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Premier League, Transport for London and Bec Development, who will share stories around working with people with disabilities and impairments.
Wavemaker is also taking part in #PurpleLightUp, a movement to promote contributions that disabled people make to the economy that was co-founded by Channel 4, and is turning its Sea Containers office purple.
At the start of 2020, Wavemaker will be implementing "ability allies" across the agency and introduce a handbook offering advice, policies and procedures for staff, plus training sessions in conjunction with representatives from disability charities and organisations. The agency has also signed up to the Valuable 500, committing to discussing these issues at board level.
Sarah Conway, Wavemaker’s UK precision lead, who is also orchestrating WM Enable, said: "Research by the disability charity Scope shows that almost half (49%) of disabled people worry about making employers aware of their impairment or condition, while 48% are unaware of their rights as a disabled employee.
"I want to make sure that we are actively challenging perceptions and attitudes, and building understanding of disability and neurodiversity, in order to welcome a more representative pool of talent into the agency and the industry."
James Edgar, Wavemaker’s head of talent, added: "We have run several projects, but it is time now that we develop a more cohesive way of approaching this. We are committed to raising our awareness, breaking down biases and myths, and providing the support through allies and training that will positively influence our behaviour as an agency."