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Working with People with Disabilities: Breaking Down Barriers for Inclusion

Tiffany Meehan (She/Her/Disabled), VP of Marketing
Originally published August 24, 2023
Posted in:
Updated on December 20th, 2023

In today’s diverse and globalized workforce, inclusivity is not just an aspirational goal—it’s a necessity. Every employee, irrespective of their background or disabilities, brings a unique perspective that can fuel innovation and drive the company’s success. Prioritizing inclusivity isn’t just about ethical responsibilities or compliance; it directly ties into optimizing the overall employee experience (EX) and ensuring retention. 

Employees feel valued when they recognize that their workplace is committed to their growth, well-being, and acknowledges their unique contributions. This broader vision of promoting a holistic employee experience is at the heart of fostering a vibrant, productive, and harmonious work environment.

 

Real Stories from Inclusively: Concrete Steps Towards Inclusion 

 

Inclusively’s platform stands as a testament to the power of intentional inclusivity. One poignant example is that of Jane, a software developer with hearing loss. Previously overlooked by several employers, Jane found a tech company through Inclusively that didn’t just accommodate her disability but leveraged her exceptional coding skills. 

The result? 

Jane led a project that generated a 15% revenue increase for her team in just six months.

Another success story comes from Michael, a veteran with PTSD. Many workplaces hesitated to hire him, wary of his needed accommodations. But with Inclusively’s platform, he connected with a company that provided the flexibility he needed. Michael’s leadership skills and experience led his department to consistently exceed their quarterly targets, solidifying the fact that inclusivity leads to tangible business results.

These stories underline a crucial truth: an inclusive workplace isn’t just morally right—it’s beneficial. Employers who embrace inclusivity witness enhanced team collaboration, increased innovation, and stronger employee loyalty. They see the real-world, tangible benefits that come when barriers are dismantled, and every individual is empowered to work to their fullest potential. By focusing on inclusion, businesses are not merely accommodating—they’re thriving.

 

Debunking Myths about Employees with Disabilities

 

Misconceptions about individuals with disabilities often cloud the judgment of employers, leading to missed opportunities for both businesses and potential employees. Some common myths include:

They can’t perform tasks effectively.” Many believe that disabilities automatically equate to decreased job performance. In reality, with the right accommodations, employees with disabilities often outperform their peers.

Hiring them is costly due to accommodations.” 

Studies have shown that most workplace accommodations are cost-effective, with many requiring no financial outlay.

They have a higher absentee rate.” 

No evidence suggests that employees with disabilities take more time off than their counterparts. In many instances, they exhibit higher dedication and loyalty.

Inclusively has been at the forefront in challenging these stereotypes. Through its platform, the company showcases success stories, dispelling myths by presenting concrete evidence of employees with disabilities excelling in their roles. Additionally, Inclusively promotes education and dialogue, facilitating conversations between potential employers and employees to foster understanding and eliminate biases.

 

Training for Inclusion: Preparing Employers

 

To bridge the knowledge gap and foster an environment of understanding, Inclusively offers robust training programs tailored to the needs of employers and their teams. The objective? To ensure that every workplace becomes a hub of inclusivity and productivity.

The training modules cover a broad spectrum. They begin with an introduction to various disabilities, explaining their nature and debunking associated myths. From there, the training delves into best practices for communication, collaboration, and accommodation, equipping teams with tools to engage productively with colleagues of all abilities.

Feedback on Inclusively’s training has been overwhelmingly positive. Employers frequently commend the tangible shift in workplace dynamics post-training. Teams report feeling more equipped to collaborate effectively with their colleagues, leading to an uptick in productivity and overall morale. Furthermore, by making such training a norm, companies send a powerful message about their commitment to diversity and inclusivity, making them more attractive to potential talent and customers.

Inclusively’s training program is not just about understanding disabilities. It’s about fostering an inclusive mindset, where differences are celebrated, and everyone is set up for success.

 

Best Practices for Creating an Inclusive Environment 

An inclusive environment is one where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. To support employers in achieving this, Inclusively recommends several best practices based on their extensive experience in the field:

Open Communication: Fostering a culture where employees feel safe to express their needs is crucial. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions ensure that accommodations remain effective and relevant.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Offer flexibility in work hours or remote working options, ensuring all employees can work in conditions that best suit their needs.

Diversity and Inclusion Training: Equip your team with the knowledge and skills to interact effectively with disabled colleagues. This not only boosts morale but also enhances overall productivity.

Physical Adjustments: Simple modifications, like ergonomic furniture or accessible workspaces, can make a world of difference to employees with physical disabilities.

By incorporating these steps, employers can create an environment where everyone thrives. These aren’t just theoretical recommendations but practical, actionable ways to transform workplace culture.

 

Leveraging Technology: The Accommodations Dashboard 

 

Inclusively’s Accommodations Dashboard demonstrates exactly how technology can amplify inclusivity. This feature-rich platform is designed to assist employers in understanding and catering to the needs of their diverse workforce.

At its core, the dashboard provides real-time tracking of accommodation requests and their implementation status. This ensures that no request falls through the cracks and that every employee gets the support they need in a timely manner. Additionally, it offers insightful analytics, allowing companies to assess the effectiveness of their inclusion initiatives and make data-driven decisions.

Inclusively analiytics

But beyond the metrics, the dashboard serves as a continuous reminder of an organization’s commitment to inclusivity. It streamlines the often complex process of tracking accommodations, making it simpler for employers to uphold their commitment to an inclusive workplace.

In today’s world, where technology intertwines with almost every aspect of our lives, leveraging it to bolster inclusivity is both innovative and essential. The Accommodations Dashboard by Inclusively exemplifies this synergy, proving that creating an inclusive workplace becomes an achievable goal for every organization with the right tools.

 

Conclusion

 

Breaking barriers for inclusion is paramount in today’s diverse workplace. Platforms like Inclusively don’t just aid this mission; they are pivotal in reshaping work environments to be more understanding, accommodating, and truly inclusive for all. Check it out by requesting a free employer demo. As we move forward, such commitment to inclusivity will define the workplaces of tomorrow.

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