Including people with a disability in your workplace fosters success… the why and the how
Remember when, back 30, even 40 years ago, it was rude to speak about someone’s disability?
People tended to discuss it in hushed tones – if at all?
Thankfully, it’s no longer the norm. Disability awareness is an everyday thing, and the rights of someone with a disability are (as they should be) actively promoted and upheld.
One of the reasons this now happens is because it’s the law. (Again, as it should be.)
Another is because research is showing, again and again, that an organisation that’s inclusive and responsive to people with a disability is a better place to work; a workplace with happier employees who spend less time away from their job; and with employees who engage better with their jobs, and their workmates.
But the greatest benefit is that, by including people who might otherwise be marginalised, by demonstrating to employees that it’s rewarding to welcome others, and find ways to accommodate differences, workplaces are actually creating a better community.
Ensuring a workplace is disability-aware and inclusive rarely happens by accident.
Steps you can take to ensure your workplace makes someone with a disability welcome include:
- Ensure inclusion is the cornerstone of all you do
Don’t just say you’re inclusive! Do it! Be it! Show it! Include people with disabilities in your workplace. Make sure job vacancies encourage people with a disability to apply. Find ways to make your employees or colleagues aware of the difference it makes when they make an effort to include other people in what they do. This doesn’t just go for including people with a disability, either. Any kind of different adds dimension to your working environment.
- Provide disability inclusion education and training.
Training employees is as good a place to start when it comes to changing your workplace culture. Perceptions about people with disabilities are often misconceptions. Education is key to breaking down barriers.
- Get involved with other organisations that can help break down barriers about disability
Finding ways to make a workplace more welcoming to someone with a disability isn’t hard – we should know – it’s what we do every day! Speak to your local WDEA Works site about what needs to happen at your business so that it’s easier for someone with a disability to be part of what you do.
In some circumstances, subsidies are available to help you meet any costs that might be associated with changing the structure or operation of your workplace. Again, our Employment Consultants have a great handle on what’s out there and are happy to help find a solution that suits your workplace, and your workforce.
Interested in learning more about how YOUR workplace can be more welcoming? Contact your local WDEA Works site to start the change.