Green Room News

"Break Barriers and Open Doors"

Asda’s Disability Working Group organised an event in Asda House to coincide with International Day of People with Disability. The event was themed “Break Barriers and Open Doors” and was a day of education and awareness – the first of its kind for Asda!

Jason Sheppard, Quality Inspector

The morning consisted of a two hour auditorium session hosted by Barry Williams – the Exec sponsor of the Disability Working Group. Over 150 people from the senior leadership team attended to hear talks from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sane (mental health charity), Time to Change (mental health Campaign) and Mike Penning, the UK Minister of State for Disabled People.

Some of our colleagues shared their own personal experiences of living with a disability like Asda Quality Inspector, Jason Sheppard (right), and Phil Tenney, Asda’s Chief Information Officer, urged the audience to ‘just ask’ when thinking about adapting workplace technology for our colleagues.

Several organisations and charities set up stands in the atrium. This was an opportunity for all colleagues and line managers to ask questions, talk through scenarios and explore the support available.

Phil Tenney, Chief Information Officer, using equipment to simulate conditions such as arthritis

One of the next steps is to explore how stores and depots can get involved with such activity. For now the feedback has been overwhelming and this seems to have been the perfect foundation for Asda’s Disability Working Group to make real progress in 2014.

Matthew Mills, Executive recruiter, said: “The event was truly inspiring and impactful. An interactive session that will no doubt leave our leadership teams thoughtful. This has certainly made me reflect on how inclusive I am in my role, but has also opened my mind to disability and mental health in general.”

Posted in Green Room News on 18 December 2013