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Freeney Williams

Training and Development

All our training solutions are designed to meet the specific needs of individual clients. We firmly believe that for any training to be effective it should be directly related to the needs of those being trained. In addition all disability related training is delivered by trainers who have direct personal experience of the issues. Whether you want to train hundreds of people or just a handful of staff, we have a range of programmes that can be tailored to suit. For smaller organisations, or those with only one or two staff to be trained, we are currently working in partnership with the Business Disability Forum to deliver a series of open courses.

Recent programmes have included:

  • Strategic briefings on the implications and opportunities posed by Equalities and Diversity Legislation for directors and senior managers
  • Understanding and implementing the the disability aspects of the Equality Act
  • The practicalities of identifying and providing reasonable adjustments
  • Diversity and Corporate Responsibility
  • Disability Equality and Awareness
  • Train the trainer on disability
  • Diversity Awareness
  • Implementing a Diversity Policy in practice
  • Positive Action Training for disabled staff
  • Mentoring
  • Dealing with unacceptable behaviour
  • Specific Equality and Diversity Issues (including race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, gender reassignment, marriage and Civil Partnership, pregnancy and maternity)

Accessibility and Usability Audits

Access audits are an integral part of identifying barriers to access for customers and employees. However, in order to ensure that service providers and employers remain as barrier free as is reasonably possible, access audits need to be part of a broader reaching review.

Experience has shown us that barriers at seemingly inaccessible premises can often be overcome through changes to practices, policies and procedures rather than costly alterations to the built environment. In light of this we offer a comprehensive auditing solution that looks at the inter-relationship between the way in which a company operates in order to identify cost-effective, realistic and mutually beneficial solutions. The range of areas covered by our audits includes:

  • Physical access
  • Policies, practices and procedures
  • Customer services
  • Website accessibility and usability audits using a panel of disabled testers

Equality Policy Design and Development

It can be difficult or simply not cost-effective to manage the increasingly complex and regularly changing responsibilities of equalities legislation in-house. Instead of struggling to retain or develop sufficient in-house expertise take a look at how we can help your organisation. We have successful experience in a wide range of sectors.

Examples of policies we have helped to develop include:

  • Recruitment, selection and retention
  • Career development
  • Disabled staff networks
  • Engaging with disabled staff
  • Positive staff development
  • Employee benefits
  • Managing sickness absence
  • Implementing reasonable adjustments
  • Accessible IT
  • Procurement
  • Health and Safety

Case Management and Conciliation

All too often cases of alleged discrimination are the result of misunderstandings rather than malice. Unfortunately, once lawyers become involved, a speedy and mutually acceptable solution can become much less likely. As a result we offer an independent arbitration and conciliation service to effectively resolve and address complaints of discrimination from employees or customers.

We have assisted Cinema Companies, Health Clubs, Banks, High Street Retailers, Utility Companies, Building Societies and local authorities. In no instances to date has it been necessary for either party to take legal proceedings and all cases have been resolved successfully. In addition we are also able to assist with the following:

  • Advice and support in dealing with the media
  • Independent complaint handling and resolution
  • Provision of expert witnesses for cases of discrimination
  • Technical and practical advice on reasonable adjustments to jobs and working practices
  • Managing long-term sickness absence

Disability Discrimination Law

Freeney Williams Ltd has achieved its reputation of being one of the UK’s leading consultancies in the field by ensuring it keeps up to date with the latest legal developments and case law. We have written a number of publications on behalf of the former Disability Rights Commission and the Business Disability Forum. We also work closely with some of the UK’s leading disability lawyers and firms and are able to offer full support to clients in all legal issues including the law’s practical implementation.

Health and Safety Issues Associated with Disability

There may be occasions when you require specific advice concerning the relationship between disability and health and safety issues. In particular we can help with:

  • Identifying and managing risks
  • Expert occupational health assessments
  • Ergonomic assessments
  • Evac Chair and wheelchair manoeuvring training
  • Auditing and developing emergency evacuation procedures for disabled people
  • Manual handling

Disability Related Research

We have undertaken a wide range of disability related research from large-scale projects across the United Kingdom through to small-scale customer focus group exercises for small local amenities. Services offered include:

  • Mystery shopping
  • Facilitated focus groups
  • Customer surveys
  • Employee surveys

Helpline Service

To respond to our clients’ request for on-going support we have introduced a Helpline service which can quickly respond to queries and issues that have arisen. In return for an annual fee, clients have access to an agreed number of hours per month of expert advice, via e-mail or phone, on:

  • The Equality Act 2010 and its application
  • Practices, policies and procedures - development and application
  • Case work - reasonable adjustments, job adaptation, etc.
  • Complaint and grievance resolution.

The features of the scheme are:

  • A range of charges based on how many hours you are likely to want to access
  • A monthly roll-over of unused time
  • Additional time can be bought at an agreed hourly rate
  • Enquiries are answered either in real time or within one working day
  • The service can be accessed by whoever the client designates, e.g., HR, all managers, all staff, etc.
  • Management information is provided quarterly