CGI member Phil Nobes shares his experience of disability support at CGI, from workplace adjustments to our Disability Network. 

June 2023

After a serious road traffic accident when I was 18, I was left with a seriously injured left leg, after which I was unable to walk without a stick. Following three operations, this evolved over a few years to become two crutches. Now, having spent over half my life on crutches, and suffering knock-on effects that mean my neck and spine are damaged and often require me to wear a neck brace, I have a lot of experience in coping with living with a disability.

I also have two children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), so I've learned a lot about managing the effects of autism, too. I'm involved with a local charity that helps families affected by ASD.

Needless to say, I have a deep understanding of coping with issues around physical disability, pain management, ASD, depression and anxiety. Because of this, I'm always happy to be there for anyone going through anything similar, whether it's mentoring or just being there as someone to talk to.

CGI is a company that really champions diversity, inclusion and support for members. We're really fortunate that our leadership are such strong advocates for creating internal resources that help members dealing with personal health issues, whether they're mental or physical.

One of those is the CGI Disability Network, which is such a great community within CGI. What we're trying to do with the network is provide an inclusive community that makes it easy to find support as a person with a disability. Everyone is equal at CGI and there's a lot that CGI does to make provisions for people. It's just a matter of letting them know what you need, by talking to your manager and completing the workplace assessments to follow the process for appropriate adjustments.

As an example, when I started with CGI, I was travelling three hours a day to get to and from work. My manager saw how difficult it was for me and told me to work from home two days a week. However, I was still really struggling – my son would have to help me get out of the car by the time I got home on the days I was travelling back from the office.

When I told my manager, she set up a new plan that gave me at least one rest day between office days, to give my legs a chance to recover. It was absolutely brilliant and made a huge difference. In fact, in thirteen years at CGI, I've never had to take a sick day!

If you ask me what comes to mind when describing CGI, the words 'supportive' and 'inclusive' are the first words I think of. There's such a supportive culture here and I hope everyone realises how much support is available to them. All you have to do is ask.

Learn more about CGI’s commitment to being Unconditionally Inclusive