Do you have difficulty reading online?
Disability is a key focus of our work on diversity - not just in terms of our employees but in terms of our customers and the community projects we pursue.
Across the UK business we have 56 employees who register themselves as having a disability - representing less than one per cent of the total workforce. We believe the actual figure is much higher as many people with disabilities do not identify themselves as registered disabled.
In Ireland we sponsored the first ever O2 Ability Awards, run by the Aisling Foundation, which are designed to raise awareness of best practice in the area of recruiting and employing people with disabilities. As a result, we are working towards meeting the standards, procedures and recommended best practice employed by this campaigning organisation.
Following an internal survey in which 629 employees said they experience some difficulty reading online, we invited the Royal National Institute of the Blind to audit our internal website, Vital O2. We have started to make changes to ensure accessibility and have communicated to employees ways to set up their computer screens to help them see and navigate more effectively.
In Ireland we plan to start Diversity and Disability Awareness training by the end of 2005. In the UK we are members of the Employers' Forum on Disability and of the 'Two Ticks' scheme, which supports disabled people in the workplace.
We have begun a programme with Job Centre Plus and REMPLOY in the UK to offer pre-employment training for potential O2 employees, in exchange for a guaranteed job interview. The training is aimed at individuals with a physical disability or from other disadvantaged groups, such as men over 50 with restricted work experience and little hope of finding a new job, or people with previous criminal convictions. The initial trial has already resulted in six people being employed by O2.