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Leadership Academy Programme Year 2 Graduation

02 June 2016

The Leadership Academy Programme (LAP) has just seen the successful completion of its second year. 

LAP is a Leadership Programme designed for employees who have lived experience of disability and/or long term health conditions, who want to develop their careers. In addition to undertaking 4 non-consecutive days of training, our delegates are afforded the opportunity to glean greater knowledge, honing in on their new skills and developing their learning through individual hours of executive mentoring. The delegates enjoy their Graduation at the end of all their hard work and we saw all of our delegates on 12th May 2016 celebrate their achievements.

What also adds great value to our programme is the alumni and each delegate will become a member post their training, which provides an ongoing network of senior executives; most of whom have achieved great success despite having various disabilities and long term health conditions.  You also benefit from Disability Rights UK wealth of networks and as such throughout the programme days and at the alumni events you will get to hear from various key note speakers; our most recent being Lord Colin Low and Vidar Hjardeng MBE - Diversity Consultant, ITV News.  This is a very unique and specially designed programme and everyone who has participated feels that they have benefited and grown in some way.

Here are just some of the comments we received from our delegates and mentors;

“As a disabled person with long-term health conditions it was been a privilege for me to act as a Mentor on the Leadership Academy Programme.  Too often, the barriers disabled people face prevent them from realising their full potential – particularly in leadership.  Often, the lived experience of disability develops capabilities and perspectives that provide valuable and unique approaches to leadership.  My aim has been to unlock those capabilities and perspectives – in particular by building confidence, and helping disabled people to appreciate their personal distinctiveness.”

Simon Lydiard, Mentor and former Senior Civil Servant

“Mentoring on the LAP programme was a great experience for me.  

My mentee was an absolute delight to work with - she engaged really positively with the whole process and we talked about all aspects of her work. It made me realise how rare it is, for those of us with disabilities to talk openly about the impact not just on work performance but career opportunities, relationships and sense of self. And how easy it is for other people to under-estimate the ability and potential of someone with a disability.

That’s why the LAP programme is so important -  it’s not about disability, it’s about achieving potential by  building skills, self-awareness and confidence and developing individual ways of managing any impact of disability”.

Liz Pick – CEO-Performance and Well-Being

“I found being a mentor on LAP hugely rewarding. It raised my awareness of disabled-related issues in the work-place and as a senior manager, encouraged me to take a hard look at how my own organisation was doing (and where it could improve). I also got a lot out of mentoring someone outside my organisation; it helped widen my perspective and forced me to raise my game to ensure I was supporting and guiding my mentee as well as I would had it been someone with a more familiar background/career. I thoroughly recommend this experience to other mentors out there!”

David Thomas | Technology Overhaul Programme Director | Foreign and Commonwealth Office

“I found the whole LAP process to be very refreshing. Prior to the course commencing, we all received clear instructions and information about what was expected and what we were expected to commit to. The staff were very friendly and responded readily to any queries or issues. The actual course and contents were carefully thought out, and again, given to us by email prior to attendance. Very useful indeed, as we then knew what to expect on the day. One of the key learning elements was to learn from the other candidates experiences. For my part, it has made me a more rounded individual and better adapted to the challenges of leading a diverse workforce in the future.”

Mark Korad - | Foreign and Commonwealth Office

“As a delegate on the LAP, I found a new way of looking at my skills, as a manager, new ways of working with and supporting teams, as well as leaving with a clearer picture of my career path. The course was hugely beneficial to myself and I believe that my employer will benefit greatly from my new found skills and drive.”

Allan Russell - Broadcast Producer, RNIB Connect Radio

“Since completing LAP, I have successfully secured a new job in Internal Audit.  By completing the programme, I learnt how to embrace my disabilities rather than using them as an excuse and have found a new level of self-confidence.  I met lots of amazing people and gained a greater understanding of people and their issues; which has helped me in social and work relationships.”

Alison J Burford | Internal Auditor | Internal Audit

We are about to start recruiting for our new cohort and because places go fast, we strongly encourage anyone who may be interested in taking part in the programme, to enter into provisional conversations with their line manager and to request an application form and further programme information by e-mailing The Leadership Academy Executive – Katrina.morris@disabilityrightsuk.org

Claire Maxwell and her mentor Catherine


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