An initiative to promote awareness and understanding of disability within the legal sector was launched on Friday (3 December) to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The disAbility Legal Network also aims to promote and develop accessibility within the legal sector, and to give its members the opportunity to make connections and build professional networks.
The group has called on employers and representative bodies in the legal sector to become an ‘ally’, in order to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities within the legal sector.
To become an ally of the network, organisations must fulfil several criteria under two headings:
- Increasing awareness and understanding, and
- Increasing accessibility.
Under the first heading, firms are being asked to create an inclusive culture, and to incorporate disability-awareness training into their annual training programmes.
To increase accessibility, allies of the network must make their office buildings wheelchair-accessible, as well as promote the use of appropriate technology in the workplace.
Several leading law firms have already signed up to become allies.
The network has been founded by Jane Barrett, an associate at law firm William Fry. She is chair of the steering committee for the network.
"We hope that the network will have a material impact on achieving disability awareness and inclusion in the legal sector," she said.
More information can be found on the disAbility Legal Network website.