How to Embrace Disability in the Workplace
October is National Disability and Employment Awareness Month. This month is a great month to advocate across the United States the importance of educating others on hiring people with Disabilities. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 adults have at least one kind of disability. There are several people who are successful business men or women with ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, autism, etc. that you may not be aware of. Many workplaces have a culture that is not friendly to the idea of mental health.
What can you do as a business to embrace it? A lot! Below are ways to be more informed about disability in a workplace.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability IN offer company’s organization scores using the Disability Equality Index (DEI). The DEI is a tool that shares businesseswith a score from 0 to 100 on their disability inclusion practices. They benchmark six categories: Culture/Leadership, Employment practices, Recruitment, Retention, Accommodations and Community Engagement. This tool is very transparent to all business leaders and will allow you to better understand where you are at as a company.
Having a better understanding about disability will empower your workfare to create a friendly environment. The Learning Disabilities Association of America is a great resource/guide to help support and learn more about people with disabilities. Investing in trainings and classes will help gain more insight for your employers to know how to be open and communicate properly in a work environment.
Employees with disabilities can bring unique skills, understanding and experiences that can enhance your products or services. Working alongside a person with disability can create ideas that you may never have considered before because you may never have seen it as a challenge. It can teach co-workers to teach other co-workers in a different and creative way to solve solutions to a problem.
Companies such as CVS and Microsoft have found people with disabilities are more loyal, detail orientated and reliable. Microsoft has hired 50 people with autism in the past three years. They have seen that people with autism pay more attention to detail and can spot patterns quickly and efficiently. CVS has said the same thing and that they are more accurate with data and can do it for longer periods of time because they don’t get bored easily.
By ensuring your workforce embraces disability in a workplace will allow you to have a culture that is transparent, diverse, and all-around inclusion environment.