Arise Virtual Solutions Joins Employers’ Forum on Disability

Karin Elliott, VP Corporate Development & Marketing and David Cartwright, CEO EMEA attended the Network and Learn event with EFD – Employers’ Forum on Disability at the end of October 2011. This was a fascinating session which highlighted many concurrences between the EFD aims and the kind of opportunities for home working that Arise facilitate.

Arise Virtual Solutions Inc was founded in 1997 as a joint venture between Bell South and the State of Florida to provide work for disabled people in Florida. Today Arise has 25,000 independent home workers across the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland providing customer service and technical support to many of the world’s leading brands. Around 11% of Arise’s Client Support Professionals (CSPs) are disabled and have found interesting and rewarding work through the Arise virtual business model.

This is how one of our ACPs describes her experience: “I know now there are jobs out there but they are very difficult to find. I could not leave my home, could not attend a job interview etc but hey I have a job! However, this sort of work is not suitable for people with a lack of self discipline. You have to be motivated and have a level of education. Most importantly you have to be good with people, have patience and empathy.”Nicola began servicing for Arise in July 2011 after completing an Arise University course, which took six weeks. IT training was delivered electronically through award winning interactive role-play and instructor led eLearning.

The Employers’ Forum on Disability is the world’s leading employers’ organisation focused on disability as it affects business. They make it easier to employ and do business with disabled people. EFD is supported by a growing list of members from UK businesses, multinational corporations, SMEs and the public sector and are widely recognised as setting the standard for disability best practice. According to EFD there are approximately 10 million registered disabled people in Great Britain covered by the equality act which represents around 18% of the population.

Arise are looking to the EFD to help attract and retain disabled people who are suited to the Arise model. Arise are also keen to enable Arise CSPs to do business with disabled customers for our clients and become disability confident. The EFD allows Arise to become part of a unique network of employers with access to nearly two decades of experience on disability.

Arise first got involved with the EFD in February last year through Susan Scott-Parker OBE, founder and Chief Executive, and now looks forward to broadening its relationship as a full member. The following points of the Disability Standard come across as especially relevant and interesting to Arise.

  • Companies know what good looks like
  • Enables process to be measured
  • Motivates change

We are particularly interested in meeting Director Joanna Wootten and discussing the project she is leading to revamp the Disability Standard to make it easier to use and more relevant to EFD members.

Links to relevant websites:

Arise Virtual Solutions Inc and EFD – Employers’ Forum on Disability