Press release: Minister for Disabled People to open Business Disability Forum's 2016 conference

04 April 2016

London, UK - Business Disability Forum (BDF) is pleased to announce that Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, will be opening the BDF 2016 conference on 'Recruiting and retaining disabled talent' sponsored by Microlink and Ingeus.

Taking place at the Royal College of Nursing on Wednesday 20 April 2016, the Minister will welcome delegates and discuss the key aims of the government’s Disability Confident campaign.


Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, said:

"Business Disability Forum is doing fantastic work in raising awareness of disability issues and I am delighted to attend their 2016 conference.

"If we are to meet our ambition of halving the disability employment gap and getting more disabled people into work then we need everyone to pull together. We know that only minor changes are needed for employers to take advantage of the enormous talent among disabled people and by working together and sharing examples of successful approaches we can make a real difference."

BDF is also delighted to announce that Kate Nash OBE and Lloyds Banking Group will deliver expert-led workshops on ways to improve disability confidence when recruiting and retaining disabled employees.

Kate Nash is the creator of PurpleSpace - the professional development hub for disabled employee networks and the world’s leading authority in ‘Networkology’ – the science behind the growth of workplace resource groups.

In this workshop entitled ‘Disability confidence from the inside out,’ Kate will address the 'mirror-image' of disability confidence from the perspective of disabled employees.

This workshop will also provide guidance for employers who are looking to adopt and strategise disability confidence as part of a whole organisational approach.

Speaking about the conference, Kate Nash said:

"It is vitally important that employers invest in their disabled employees to develop confidence and resilience. It is these things that have the greatest impact on a person’s ability to ask for a workplace adjustment."

BDF will also be joined by longstanding Partner and multi Disability-smart Award winner Lloyds Banking Group who will be delivering a workshop entitled ‘Using work experience to improve disability confidence'.

Delegates will hear how Lloyds Banking Group used their Disability Work Experience Programme (DWEP) in collaboration with BDF Partner Remploy to boost disability confidence and help disabled people build their skills and readiness for work, enhancing their future employability. Table discussions will focus around the value of such placements, barriers and challenges and will provide delegates with the opportunity to share their experiences of targeted development programmes.


For more information and to register for the BDF conference 2016, visit:



Notes to editors:

1. Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit business consortium that represents some 300 organisations that employ 20% of the UK workforce. We have more than twenty years’ experience of working with public and private sector employers and service providers. For more information about the Forum please visit:

2. For media/ journalist enquiries and to organise press interviews with guest speakers during the conference, please contact Emily Jackson, Press Officer on or call 020-7403-3020.

3. Kate Nash OBE is the world’s leading authority in ‘Networkology’ – the science behind the growth of workplace networks/resource groups. She helps employers to mobilise networks across all the equality strands to support cultural change. In April 2014 her book Secrets & Big News was published, and launched at BT Tower. In 2007 she was awarded an OBE for services to disabled people and in 2013 was appointed Ambassador to Disability Rights UK and Global Ambassador to Business Disability International. For more information, visit:

4. Microlink are the leaders in the field of Assistive Technology and have enabled over a quarter of a million people with health conditions to succeed in education and employment. Microlink consults at government level, wins numerous awards for its dedication, and sources the latest technology to deliver a service to their customers that’s second to none. For more information about Microlink, visit:

5. Ingeus UK is a leading provider of people-centred services, such as employability programmes, skills training and health-related support, which help people to reach their full potential. For more information, visit:,70

6. BDF is pleased to present a free preview of the Retention Toolkit & Maturity Model sponsored by Ingeus ahead of the official launch on 20 April 2016. Click here to view and download the preview of recruitment and retention top tips, more of which are set out in the Retention Toolkit.

7. To download a copy of the ‘State of the Nation’ Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 1 report, visit:

8. To download a copy of: State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 2 report, visit: