There is a strong business case to include disability in the workplace. Teams that perform well will thrive in an inclusive and diverse workplace.
However, organizations often fail to create an inclusive culture. It’s not unusual for companies to fail to address the needs of employees who have disabilities, be it inattention or ignorance.
It is essential to make steps to increase awareness and acceptance of disabled people in your company.
1. Learn to Educate Your Staff
Employees want to feel valued and able to contribute to the company. It’s crucial to understand the particular challenges faced by people who have disabilities. This can be done through disability awareness training for everyone at the company.
In the event that you offer training in person or on the internet it is essential that your staff learn about how to respect and interact with persons with disabilities. This will help reduce the negative stigma of disability and encourage employees to support each other in the workplace.disability Services in Melbourne
Offer a brief training session on disability awareness for your employees. Whether you’re hosting a business function, an employee ‘Lunch and Learn’ or simply an informal meeting with your team’s leadership, this can be a great opportunity to increase awareness of disability and confidence in the workplace.
One crucial thing to consider when delivering this training is that people with disabilities have different learning styles. Making sure that the training is tailored to each individual’s needs can make the experience more successful and engaging for everyone involved.
The goals of your business and the team you’re working with will guide how you implement this type of training. It could be an webinar or e-learning format, or it might be more in-depth.
Companies with a robust disability inclusion program are more likely to be able to access talent and retain their employees. It also helps them develop a culture that’s inclusive of all individuals.
2. Promote NDEAM
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is held every year in October to celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities in our economy and workplaces. It is sponsored each year by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. This month is an opportunity for employees to be educated about issues related to disability employment and encourage inclusion. It is also a time to recognize the contributions of people with disabilities.
While ODEP is the primary leader of NDEAM activities, it’s also important for businesses and other organizations to actively promote the awareness campaign throughout the year. It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting huge-scale celebrations or smaller “brown bag lunch” discussions to encourage NDEAM there are plenty of options available to help foster an inclusive workforce.
If your company already has a disability-related Employee Resource Group (ERG) You might consider hosting monthly ‘lunch and learn’ sessions to keep the momentum going. You can invite speakers to address subjects like, “Communicating with Job Seekers with disabilities,” or, “Creating accessible PDF documents.”
Alternatively, you can also develop a website specifically for employees of your company that provides tools and resources to help them understand the concept of disability employment and take the steps needed to create a more inclusive workplace. It is also possible to include a link for Social Security’s Ticket To Work Program, which assists disabled people in finding meaningful employment.
In addition to in promoting NDEAM as a whole, you can encourage employees to donate their time with local groups that help prepare disabled people for employment. This will help you develop leadership abilities and team building skills, as well as essential qualities like empathy, selflessness, and communication. Additionally it can help your employees to learn more about the unique needs of those with disabilities at work and develop relationships with other employees who have similar passions.disability Services in Melbourne
3. Host a “Disability employment 101” introduction
You are in the position as a business to establish an environment that encourages and respects all employees. But you must start by fostering disability awareness.
If you’re not sure what to do, consider hosting an “Disability Employment 101” guide for your business. This will educate everyone on the obstacles to employment that people with disabilities face, as well as empowering them to understand why it’s important for your company to be an environment where everyone is able to flourish.
Then, you can hold a series of meetings with your team members to discuss how you can implement these ideas in your workplace. Contact your Employee Resource Group (ERG), for suggestions on topics, speakers, and events that will make this an ongoing celebration of inclusion for disabled people in your workplace.
While you’re there, spruce up your bulletin boards to reflect your commitment to inclusion for people with disabilities. Put up NDEAM posters in your break rooms, lobby and common areas to keep the theme fresh throughout the year.
You might also highlight local events that recognize the contribution of employees who have disabilities. For example, you might work with a local synagogue to host a disability-themed Shabbat service or an art exhibit.
Finally, think about adding an employee with disabilities to your leadership team. A member of your team with disabilities will not just show you care about them, but will also give your employees a better understanding of their individual talents. Plus, it will create an enduring sense of belonging among your team members and help to boost morale and inspire. You’ll create a more positive work environment for your employees and customers.
4. Freshen Up Bulletin Boards
Freshening up your company’s bulletin boards is an excellent way to increase inclusion and awareness of disabilities within your company. Start by posting this year’s NDEAM poster in areas that employees are frequent like break rooms or common areas.
You can also make your space appear more open and welcoming by changing the background paper on your bulletin boards. You can choose from a range of different materials to create the perfect color scheme and pattern, such as scraps of colorful paper or a pattern created using a die cutting machine.
To create a more unique appearance, you can skip the prepackaged borders and instead decorate your displays with cut-out shapes of paper or various 3D-based enhancements, like decorations for the holidays, student-drawn images and printed duct tape and the ever-popular clothespins! The best part about these enhancements is that they are cheap and easy to use!
You can make the board double-duty as a learning tool by making anchor charts. These provide students with a visual aid to what they require to accomplish a task. This will allow them to do more in a shorter amount of time and help them become independent workers.
Another way to spice your bulletin boards in your office is to create a spooky board. Each week or month, assign an individual from your team to be the subject of the board. The person you choose could be anyone from a coworker to a CEO. A photo of the team member is a great way to foster employee camaraderie and introduce people to each other. Making friends with your team members is the best method to boost collaboration and improve work efficiency.
5. Partner with Local Organizations
Local businesses and local organizations can play a crucial role in strengthening communities. These partnerships usually result in a continuous stream support that boosts the morale of employees and loyalty and brand image.
Community-based partnerships can be anything from simple door decals to monthly brainstorming sessions, or quarterly summits featuring mastermind-style groups. These partnerships can be either short- or long-term and are a great way to get ideas from a new perspective and the courage to take risks that can help your business develop and thrive.
To start the ball rolling, join forces with a local organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. This could be a school or a non-profit organization, or a government agency that provides support in areas like education, job training, and healthcare.
Then, you should educate your employees on disability inclusion issues and policies in a manner that reaches every member of the organization. This includes new employees and those who recently joined your team.
Your team will be more prepared to encourage inclusion and disability awareness in the workplace and at home. They will also be more likely to protest against discriminatory practices.
Your policy on disability employment could be included in your hiring policy to aid your team. This will encourage hiring managers and recruiters as well as your entire staff to be inclusive in the recruitment process and ensure that they’re putting your organization’s inclusion values into action.
A National Disability Employment Awareness Month event (NDEAM), is another great way to raise awareness about disability. If it’s a whole week of activities or just a single day of informative seminars An NDEAM event can help your entire company understand the issues of disability and discover the most effective ways to promote disability inclusion all year long.