Re-Evaluating The Needs Of Disabled People In The Employment World
Today marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which for us, as an organisation made up of disabled people, has a particular resonance and significance. Breaking down barriers and consulting on the needs of disabled people in the workplace is fascinating, but not always straightforward.
Here at The Ability People, we are thrilled to show off our brand new, fully accessible website. What better day to do so!
It has always been one of our goals to have a website that is accessible for all. Thanks to a little tool from Recite.me, we have easily achieved this goal. In fact, during recent conversations, our co-founder Steve Carter said:
“There is no reason why every website cannot be accessible. Companies have no idea how much business they are losing out on by not making a few minor changes.”
Why is our new website essential? Throughout our journey, we have gained a lot of insight and knowledge around what the business world assumes the needs of disabled people to be. Interestingly, these “needs” are often born from a list of old fashioned, stereotypical views of disability.
Our new website is important because it is fully accessible. That is, not all disabled people will need to use the accessible features, but many non-disabled people will find them useful. You don’t need to identify as a disabled person to find accessibility helpful.
“Promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.”
Re-evaluating the needs of disabled people
What people tend to forget is that an accessible world is helpful to everyone, not just disabled people. If you’ve ever used an elevator when you are able to use the stairs, you know what we mean.
For example, if businesses were more open to employing disabled people, then everyone would benefit. Many of the needs of disabled people in employment will not just help them be productive. Instead, flexibility and accessibility, if extended across the company, is likely to improve the productivity of the entire workforce.
TAP’s mission is to create a business world whereby all differences are acknowledged and appreciated, traditional measures of performance are redefined, and every individual can achieve their full potential.
We do understand that when it comes to employing disabled people, there are a few issues that cause businesses a great deal of apprehension.
We work with businesses across the UK and beyond to help them create workforces that are authentically inclusive and full of talented individuals, regardless of differences. Our goal is to encourage our clients to discover and understand the pool of untapped talent that is out there. By tapping into this talent pool, remaining unfazed by the needs of disabled people, and becoming authentically inclusive, our clients see an increase in productivity and profit.
This blog post has been written and put together by someone with cerebral palsy, someone that many people would consider to be severely disabled. Can you tell?
The world is made up of people who are all different. Sometimes you can see the differences; sometimes you cannot. Some people are disabled; some are not. Sometimes we understand the differences; sometimes we don’t.
Whatever the differences are, it is essential to remember that there is more to life than meets the eye. The needs of disabled people do not define them. If a person needs a wheelchair because they cannot walk, it does not mean they are not highly intelligent and not capable of doing a job well.
If we do not understand the needs of disabled people applying to work for a company, we must not assume. We must be curious and aim to find out more.
People with impairments are not disabled by definition. They are disabled by the barriers that society puts in their way.
When it comes to employing disabled people, we have to open our minds and stay curious. By this, we mean asking questions, of ourselves and others, as a means to continuing to broaden our understanding. This is why the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is so important, as it reminds us to take stock and to renew our curiosity.
The needs of disabled people are not just about wheelchair and ramps. They may be about starting work at 10 am instead of 9 am!
Also, Happy birthday to our co-founder Liz Johnson!!
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