When you take proper steps to improve disability inclusion, you ignite change in your organization. Inclusion creates a culture of belonging and gives you the benefit of diverse perspectives within your workforce. Here are ways to promote diversity and inclusion for individuals with disabilities in your organization.
Sponsorship from Key Stakeholders
Make a case for disability inclusion and tie it into the overall business objectives of your company. High-performing teams equal success. When you have a diverse group with different perspectives, the result is innovation. Teams collaborate better and engage fully when all members feel included in the process – the result for your organization is a boost in productivity. Obtaining sponsorship from key stakeholders is critical for increasing disability inclusion and speeding up progress. Change is slow and unorganized when senior leadership is absent from the process.
Link up With Your Disabilities Community
Never make assumptions. Take the time to ask people with disabilities what works for them and what your organization can be doing differently. You might consider forming an employee resource group to investigate how your organization could improve. As with any inclusion committee, make sure that you open it up to the community you’re hoping to benefit from so they can share their thoughts. Doing this can help establish an inclusive environment that also serves as an educational platform.
Educate Your Team About Disability Inclusion Practices
Ensure that all employees understand disability, their responsibilities, and the available assistance. Ideas include:
- Include disability case studies in training
- Use role models and storytelling to boost awareness of visible and non-visible disabilities
- Offer webinars, podcasts, and events to educate staff on specific conditions such as stroke or mental illness
- Focus support and communication around events like the UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities
Make Accessible Technology a Priority
When you create new services and websites, try to incorporate accessibility into the initial design process. Take it one step further and include employees with disabilities in the design and testing phase. Remember that it is always easier to design accessibility into a project from the beginning instead of fixing it retroactively.
Equal Opportunity for People With Disabilities
You must ask yourself if you are doing enough to create a level playing field for applicants with disabilities. Perhaps your organization is unintentionally creating barriers for some candidates. Consider the following:
- Advertising: Are job posts inclusive? Does the wording dissuade certain people from applying?
- Applications: Is the technology used for candidates accessible to people with different requirements?
- Interviews: Are you asking candidates if they have accessibility requirements? Are office activities suitable for people with various abilities?
- Onboarding: Is there a process in place to implement adjustments? Do you have a disability association that people can connect with during the onboarding process?
Consider Your Communication
When possible, make all of your documents available in various formats such as Braille, and provide different fonts or audio versions of the material. Include captions on videos and provide a transcript with all of your audio content. Provide sign language interpreters and live captioning on webinars and virtual meetings, when necessary. If you are hosting an event, ask people if they have any accessibility requirements beforehand.
Need help with your staffing requirements? Arbor Associates can provide your organization with employees who are ready to make a difference!