A health care worker who has a long-term brain injury is helping businesses to understand the complexities of working with staff with disabilities by setting up his own consultancy business.
Tynemouth based John McDonald has worked in the health care sector for more than 20 years. In 2016, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) which involved a series of treatment plans including brain surgery which left him with lasting damage.
Although his condition severely affected his ability to work through fatigue, memory issues and balance difficulties he put coping strategies in place to minimise the effects of his symptoms, which have helped him to start his own business.
Eagle’s Wings Consultancy has been created to help organisations communicate with and understand people with disabilities particularly those with hidden disabilities such as brain injury and neuro conditions.
“Often organisations have processes in place to help staff with a disability, but they are often focused on more physical aspects of disability, I am helping where disability is more hidden, like my own brain injury, neurological conditions, or mental health issues. I tend to help where the adaptations to a business are more a change in working practice than the physical environment,” he said.
John’s expertise includes reviewing disability policies, processes, and procedures, training in disability awareness and helping employers promote a diverse and inclusive workplace and workforce.
“Sometimes all that people need is the opportunity to talk about their feelings or discuss how an employer can help them adapt the workplace for their disability. I’ve found that my “tea and talk” sessions have helped create understanding and a connection between employers and employees and sometimes something informal like that can make a massive difference leading to increased morale and productivity.”
Photo Credit: Highlights PR