If you’re an employer who is new to the world of disability diversity and inclusion, you may be looking for general guidance and background on the what, why and how of making your organization more welcoming and accessible to applicants and employees with disabilities. Consider the questions below your starting point for understanding how hiring workers with disabilities can benefit your business.
What is disability inclusion at work?
Disability inclusion at work is about more than hiring people with disabilities. An inclusive workplace values all employees for their strengths. It offers employees with disabilities — whether visible or invisible — an equal opportunity to succeed, to learn, to be compensated fairly, and to advance. True inclusion is about embracing difference.
Why disability inclusion?
Disability inclusion is a critical part of any business. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one adult in four in the United States has a disability. That includes invisible disabilities as well as visible ones. It’s likely that your workforce already includes many people with disabilities. Without disability inclusion, your business isn’t doing all it can to support its current employees. Disability inclusion is also crucial to your hiring process. Companies that aren’t proactive about disability inclusion are losing out on qualified talent. If candidates face barriers during the application and interview process, or if they sense that your business is not inclusive, they’re likely to look elsewhere. Companies with strong disability inclusion programs have better access to talent and better employee retention. They have the tools they need to help their employees thrive.
Benefits of diverse and disability-inclusive workplaces
Disability is one of the areas that contribute to workplace diversity, along with gender, race and ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and others. The business case of diversity has been well established by research in recent years. The benefits of diverse workplaces include an increased talent pool and employee satisfaction, strengthened customer orientation, improved innovation and creativity, as well as an enhanced company image.
Workplace etiquette is an important tool for disability inclusion
At its core, disability etiquette is about respect and communication. By questioning your own assumptions, treating people as individuals, and keeping the lines of communication open, you’ll be on the way to building a strong culture of workplace disability etiquette.
Today companies aim to bolster up their efforts to create and retain diverse workforces. So far, gender and race have dominated the diversity discourse. However, disability is increasingly gaining importance and recognition as an essential area for harnessing the full potential of diverse and inclusive workplaces. Reach out to us at Network ESC and we can help you staff up immediately to meet your business goals.