About

Welcome to Let’s Talk Disability

Let’s Talk Disability was founded by Emma Shepherd. Let’s Talk Disability provides support, training and advice to businesses who wish to recruit disabled people into employment and ensure retention and opportunities become available to them in their career development.

Emma has supported people with disabilities and long term health conditions, and employers for 15 years and comes from an HR and training background and is Chartered MCIPD. 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.

  • During her time working in Croydon, Emma has 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;
  • Developed and managed an ‘excellent’ supported employment service, as audited identified by SEQF (Supported Employment Quality Framework)
  • Set up a monthly Network for training providers, housing associations and the DWP to get together 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
  • Brought Supported Internships to the Borough
  • 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
  • Initiated and run 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
  • ‘Taken Over’ the Council by people with Learning Disabilities for a day
  • Provided training in disability awareness, reasonable adjustments and Mental Health First Aid to local employers
  • Won awards for innovation and management
  • Emma is also an associate for BASE and an active member and on the committee of Croydon 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.