About

Welcome to Let’s Talk Disability

Let’s Talk Disability was founded by Emma Shepherd in 2019. Let’s Talk Disability provides support, training and advice to businesses who wish to recruit disabled people into employment, ensure retention and opportunities become available to them in their career development. Let’s Talk Disability offers support on all matters regarding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to Employers.

Emma has supported people with disabilities and long term health conditions, and employers for 20 years and comes from an HR and training background and is Chartered MCIPD, MIEP & FRSA. Emma started working with disabled people in Somerset by working in Day Services and Supported Living before moving into the Supported Employment field.  Emma then moved to Kent and managed a Supported Employment Service and has combined her background of understanding businesses working with disabled people, particularly learning disability, mental health and autism and training to form Lets Talk Disability.

  • Emma set up the Disability Confident Action Group which is a board made up of Council Officers, DWP staff, Councillors, Service Providers, Employers, training providers and people with learning disabilities, which work together to put on events, training and an action plan in line with the Government White paper which aims to get a million more people with disabilities into employment by 2027;
  • She developed and managed an ‘excellent’ supported employment service, as audited identified by SEQF (Supported Employment Quality Framework)
  • Set up a monthly Networking Group for training providers, housing associations and the DWP to work on specific cases
  • Set up a Supported Self Employment Academy with Status Employment and Tree Shepherd, to enable disabled entrepreneurs start their own businesses
  • Introduced Supported Internships to the Borough and worked with Project Search
  • Co-produced a book on supported employment called ‘Glory Gets a Job’ with Books Beyond Words, which is part of a series of 4 books aimed at employment that was funded by the DWP
Emma reading Books Beyond Words at the House of Lords Book Launch
  • Initiated and developed a number of Reverse Job’s Fairs, which turns the traditional recruitment fairs on its head and gets the job seeker to have a stand, whilst the employers make their way around the room offering opportunities and offers advice to those that wish to put on their own event
  • ‘Taken Over’ the Council for a day by people with Learning Disabilities who shadowed the Senior Leadership Team
  • Provided training in disability awareness, reasonable adjustments and Mental Health First Aid to local employers
  • A regular writer for Disability Horizons Magazine. All articles can be found via this link Emma Shepherd, Author at Disability Horizons
  • Won awards for innovation and management in 2019
  • Emma is also an Associate and Assessor for BASE and on the Advisory Board for the South East London Chamber of Commerce.
  • In her spare time Emma likes to spend time with her family and walking her two shih tzu dogs. Emma has also travelled around the world, enjoys photography and is a scuba diving instructor

By working with Businesses sharing, expertise, giving advice and training we can help businesses become Disability Confident, more disability aware and ultimately get more disabled people and disadvantaged groups into employment, thus reduce the employment gap which currently stands at 32%.

Let’s bridge the gap.