In April of this year, the BFM (British Furniture Manufacturers) completed an Eramus+ funded European Project aimed at SMEs providing training for mentors to support employees with a form of disability. SupportAbility is an online platform available to the furniture industry to ensure an inclusive, supported environment for all disabled employees.

Partner organisations from the UK, Spain, Portugal and Turkey worked together to create an online learning platform which can be accessed here http://bit.ly/supportAbility_e-course, where people interested can initially log in as a guest. Through extensive research, the course contains information on how to create an inclusive environment both physically and socially.

The SupportAbility course was piloted through a learning activity from November 2018 to February 2019 with a mixture of Spanish and British students, and was hosted at WEBS Training in Beeston, Nottingham. The course consisted of a one week course which helped the students understand issues disabled people face, followed by the online training. The program culminated in a feedback week, where the response was unanimously positive, and students claimed to have had their eyes opened regarding the needs of people with a form of disability, and are now armed with the knowledge and awareness of how to be a successful mentor.

Resources are also available to Directors, managers and peers in furniture industry:

The database of resources to support the employment of disabled individuals can be accessed via http://www.supportability.eu/intellectual-two-supportability-output-reports/.

The user guide and repository to support the employment of disabled individuals can be found here  http://www.supportability.eu/intellectual-output-3-completed/