“Being disabled can be a strength, and we should be able to celebrate that” Emma Roddick MSP welcomes UNISON’s Year of Disabled Workers and calls for workplaces to improve accessibility for disabled workers.

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has welcomed UNISON’s Year of Disabled Workers 2022, stating the importance of promoting the social model of disability and highlighting the benefits of inclusivity in the workplace.

Speaking in the parliament chamber, Ms Roddick said that disabled people must be encouraged to self-identify as such and called for more employers to consider their inclusivity and allow reasonable adjustments for disabled employees.

Ms Roddick said:

“There is no disability that is experienced in the same way by all those with the diagnosis. Everyone’s needs and aspirations are different, and that is why it’s so important that people are empowered to know what they need and ask for it.

“Most importantly, disabled people must have the confidence that adjustments will be made by their employer.

“Too often, disability is spoken about as something negative and as something that needs to be overcome. The reality is that disabilities shape lives – often presenting opportunities and experiences and developing skills that folk may not have picked up otherwise.

“Workplaces can really benefit from diversity and the input and ideas that disabled people have. Being disabled can be a strength, and we should be able to celebrate that.

“When workplaces become more accessible for disabled people, they become more accessible for everyone. That’s something we should all be getting behind.”