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German EU Presidency 2007

2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All

Diversity at work

The Employers' Forum on Disability

Logo of Employers' Forum on Disability

Who We Are

The Employers' Forum on Disability is the world's leading business organisation promoting the economic and social inclusion of disabled people. The Forum is funded and managed by our 406 members, who between them employ about 20% of the UK workforce.

We were set up by a small group of companies in the late 80's because it was so difficult for well intentioned employers to find the advice and support they needed in order to effect change on this complex issue. We played an important role in rallying leading employers and employers' organisations behind the DDA. More recently, we have led private sector support for the introduction of the Disability Rights Commission and continue to actively involve our members in helping officials to improve the various codes of practice and regulations.

The Employers' Forum is distinctive in that it is a business led, membership organisation working for the mutual benefit of business and of people with disabilities. Our work is based firmly in the business and ethical case for positioning disability as both a business and human rights priority. We do not deliver services directly to disabled people but rather act as a broker, facilitating partnership between business, the voluntary sector and government. We produce a range of enabling products and services from publications, which help employers welcome disabled customers to high-level events which enable them to engage with disabled people, as they put in place strategies to work towards best practice.

Partner's Contribution to Opti-Work

The Forum brings to the Opti-Work partnership fifteen years experience of working with business, Government and other stakeholders, to effect systemic change in the way in which disabled people are recruited and employed. We have undertaken a great deal of research into the critical transformations which need to take place in a system in order for more disabled people to be able to work.
Our work has focused on:

The experience of employers in the UK has shown that the most effective way of removing the barriers facing disabled people in the labour market is to focus on systems level change, in an area where too often policy makers focus on making changes at a component level. Our knowledge and experience of working with all the key players in the disability system at a national level will help the Opti-Work team to develop tools and analytical frameworks, which policy makers will be able to use to identify systemic barriers facing disabled people across the European Union.
What We Can Do for You

The Employers' Forum on Disability welcomes members from across business and the employer community in the UK and internationally. The Forum works with all our members to make it easier for them to employ disabled people, serve disabled customers and work with disabled people in partnership. For more information on the benefits of membership please, contact Ian Hastie at or call 0044 20 7403 3020/ textphone 0044 20 7403 0040.

Alternatively, you can find more information about the Forum, including membership options, publications, events and information services at

If you are a disabled person, government agency or NGO and would like to discuss the Forum's work and partnership opportunities, please contact Rhiannon Suter at or call 0044 20 7403 3020/ textphone 0044 20 7403 0040.