Authors: Xenia Girdler, Maggie Toko
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Workforce,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,Lived Experience, Recovery,Change, Innovation, Reform
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Equal Opportunity Act has been an underpinning principle of our Industrial Relations lexicon since 2010. However, perhaps it has become something of a motherhood statement, failing to truly influence our policies, procedures and practices.
Equal opportunity means all people will be treated equally or similarly and not disadvantaged by prejudices or bias. This means the best person for a job or place in higher learning is the person who earns that position based on skills, knowledge, experience and attributes. In other words, the right competencies.
Workplace diversity values everyone's differences.
Organisations claiming to be driven by principles of equality and inclusion may, in fact, be denying opportunities to entire groups of people due to standardised staff recruitment and student application policies and procedures.
Position Descriptions, selection criteria, application processes often assume an uninterrupted life; school, university, professional career. This framework is alienating and fails to take into account the rich tapestry which is formed through informal and non-formal learning.
This paper examines current practice in light of equal opportunities and inclusion. Further, it suggests that to be considered an organisation of choice for people with Lived Experience a re-think is necessary to ensure diversity is truly acknowledged and celebrated.
Learning Objective 1: This presentation will provide insight into the underlying discrimination which supports current recruitment strategies in both employment and education and the barriers it creates for people with lived experience.
Learning Objective 2: This paper calls for a re-thinking of current employment and education practices to ensure true equality of opportunity. This sits at the heart of Recovery; to support people to regain a valued sense of self in a manner which fosters hope and choice.
Shepherd, G, Boardman, J & Slade, M (2008) Making Recovery a Reality. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health 134–138 Borough High Street London SE1 1LB
Repper, J. & Perkins, r. (2003) Social Inclusion and Recovery. Balliere Tindall: London.
Deegan, p. ( 996) recovery as a journey of the heart, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 11 – 9
Werquin, P Recognising Non-Formal and Informal Learning (2010) OECD Publications
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