While there seems to be a lot going on around the world to help improve racial and gender-related inequalities, there is much to be done for our fellow human beings with disabilities.
Many of us are not even aware of this issue, and hence, an alarming percentage of disabled people remain unemployed – a problem that has far-reaching socio-economic and impact.
In this quick piece, we attempt to elaborate on how individuals and organizations can play a more effective role to help create job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to diversity inclusion, traditional employee training promise a lot but deliver very little! Several studies have depicted that when it comes to altering the perceptions and attitudes of employees towards diversity, training sessions are useless.
It is more important to tackle the issue through a holistic approach that also includes management more directly. When the attitudes of managers get radically altered and move towards social acceptance of disabled employees, others follow suit. Experts also agree that pieces of training alone can not be effective, but when they are integrated within a system that is conscious of the challenges of the disabled from the very beginning, things start to move in a positive direction.
Equality of Opportunity
Many companies lack a comprehensive hiring program that caters to the disabled. Looking up to companies such as Microsoft is beneficial in this regard. In their United States division, they reimagined the hiring system to include more people diagnosed with Autism into their workforce in 2015.
One of the most important aspects of this process is the initial screening and shortlisting. Disabled people have usually dealt with discrimination for a prolonged time and exercises that boost their confidence and ease with the environment are a great way to start the interview process.
Further, the HR and management teams should follow a rigorous routine of urging the disabled within their workforce to apply and appear for internal job postings and promotion interviews. If a company is committed to improving diversity inclusion in its workforce, the number of opportunities available for the disabled should be amped up significantly.
Altering the Environment
Oftentimes, the preconceived notions of employees towards the disabled can do more harm than good. Even the most well-meaning colleagues tend to question the most basic capabilities of their disabled co-workers. If the expectations from disabled employees are already low, they can not progress. This is partially the reason why many people with mental disabilities choose non-disclosure as their best defense.
A change in attitude like this is paramount to a safe and healthy atmosphere for the disabled workforce. Before the behavior changes, the all-around attitude has to be positive. It can be tough to navigate through the seas of job opportunities as a disabled person. If you or a disabled loved one seeks employment, visit atWork Australia for DES where we work with hundreds of equal opportunity employers and provide customized solutions for your needs.