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Disability Confident: Meaning & Information

  • Published: 2014-04-04 (Rev. 2015-10-05) - Contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Information, definition and original meaning of the phrase Disability Confident as well as tips on becoming a Disability Confident organization.

Definition: Disability Confident

The Disability Confident campaign encourages employers to be positive about skills that people with disability bring to businesses and to remove barriers to recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities.

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"Though originally introduced by the U.K. government, the phrase is now also being used by others who have given their internal awareness training a similar label."

The phrase "disability confident" is steadily becoming more well known. But what does it mean?

Disability Confident is the name of a campaign initiated by the U.K. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) designed to help companies become more willing to employ disabled staff, by offering advice and breaking down unhelpful work-related myths. The U.K. Government launched their new Disability Confident campaign at a conference in London in July 2013. A 2 year advertising campaign for the initiative was also unveiled at the conference which includes a series of supporting materials such as posters, case studies and templates. (See below for campaign material link). Since the launch the campaign has spawned a number of events around the U.K. supported by many well-known names such as paralympian Sophie Christianson and Falklands veteran Simon Weston, as well as companies including KPMG, Santander and Sainsbury's.

Though originally introduced by the U.K. government, the phrase is now also being used by others who have given their internal awareness training a similar label. When the phrase started to become popular, many people with disabilities mistook its meaning, thinking it referred to gaining more confidence in life.

Equal Approach, a leading inclusive recruiter and diversity consultancy in the UK, have been heavily involved in the Disability Confident campaign from the initial launch, following involvement in the launch of the campaign at the Disability Employment Conference in July 2013, where the campaign was launched. Upon making their pledge to the Disability Confident campaign Equal Approach have commented, "We are proud to do things differently and will make diversity a commercially successful reality for our candidates and clients - We are proud to champion disabled talent and our commitment to the Disability Confident campaign is a reflection of that."

Some UK Disability Statistics:

  • Almost 5 million people care for a friend or relative
  • There are over 11 million disabled people in the UK today
  • Disabled people contribute over £80 billion a year to the UK economy
  • For the average business, 20% of their customers are disabled people
  • More than three quarters of disabled people acquire their disability as adults
  • Nearly 7 million people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition

Becoming a Disability Confident Company:

People with disability can be found in virtually every community on Earth, men, women, and children; employers and employees; students and teachers; indigenous and non-indigenous; customers and citizens. Becoming a disability confident organization means embracing inclusion. It's important for businesses to understand how people with disability relate to operations as a potential or existing employee, consumer, supplier or stakeholder.

A disability confident organization is a company, that puts policies into practice to ensure people with disabilities are included. A Disability Confidence organization thinks about the needs of people with disability when designing products and services, and when creating employment opportunities. Disability Confidence organizations know what people with a disability can do, and have identified ways to address barriers to employment or promotion for persons with disabilities. In order to achieve significant disability targets and accessibility, it is crucial to ensure every level of your organization is trained and welcoming to people with disability.


  1. Disability Employment Information and Job Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
  2. People with Disabilities - Work and Employment - Wendy Taormina-Weiss - (Aug 30, 2011)
  3. Disability Employment Resources - Disabled World - (Jan 04, 2009)


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