Disability awareness and inclusion as a priority can often take a backseat to other seemingly more pressing priorities within the workplace. However, with many fail to realise is that if you prioritise disabled people within your business strategy, you are not just meeting the needs of this minority group but you are meeting the needs of many people.
There are many ways to ensure that you are being inclusive of disabled people.
Whether it be recruiting for a new position or welcoming people into a service. One such way is to receive support in the form of training. Training can be helpful in many ways. When it comes to training in the disability sector, there is nothing more beneficial than having your training delivered by people with lived experience. Obviously, I’m a bit biased. But it’s true! No matter what the subject, somebody with personal knowledge of that subject matter backed with professional experience is always best placed to support others to learn.
It is difficult to sum up in one sentence the benefits of disability awareness and inclusion training. Therefore, the infographic below is designed to offer you some of that information.
Interactions with disabled people.
Many people within your business may not have much if any experience of disability. Many people live alongside disability, either because they are disabled themselves, there is a disabled person in their family or a neighbour or friend is disabled. (Don’t forget, disability is diverse. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there) However, there are many more that have not experienced disability. This could simply be because their friend or family member has not disclosed that they have an impairment, or that person does not identify as being disabled.
If a person has never experienced disability, it will be challenging for them to have a successful interaction. When it comes to your business, it’s imperative that every interaction with a customer or an employee is a successful one. This is because successful interactions lead to happy people.
The risks of no training.
Without an awareness of the barriers that disabled people face and the potential assets that disabled people are, there are many risks:
- Lack of empathy – if you are not aware, you can’t empathise
- Lack of confidence
- Misrepresentation – a person who is not aware of how to be inclusive can misrepresent their intentions
- Lost customers – if a disabled customer doesn’t feel welcome, they will go elsewhere
- Shallow candidate pool – there are many methods a business can implement to attract disabled candidates
There are many ways to avoid the above. Training for example is one. Below are 8 benefits of training.
8 Training Benefits That Will Support Your Business
By being aware of disability, you can be better prepared to support somebody when they need it. Especially as it’s so important to be aware that whilst everyone will need slightly different support, your service will improve when your employees aren’t caught off guard.
When we understand something, we are more confident. And that’s how you want your employees to feel. They can then go on to create a relaxed, confident atmosphere.
By being more confident about the language we should use when talking to disabled people, it will be easier to engage and interact. In a customer facing service role, this will support your disabled customers to feel welcome. In a workplace environment, when you can confidently engage with your disabled employees enabling them to feel part of the team, they can be more productive.
There are many barriers that disabled people face on a daily basis, if we are aware of these barriers, we can start to think of solutions:
- To recruitment
- To building access
- To transport
- To public service
- To communication
- To attitudes
By understanding the value disabled people bring, will unconsciously show in every action. As a result, disabled people feel valued. This will encourage disabled people, their friends, family and colleagues to stay and recommend your business.
By understanding the barriers, every time you design a new service, building, product, etc, you will have all the information you need to ensure that it is accessible and inclusive for disabled people.
When you are inclusive and aware of the needs of disabled people, you are more likely to be being inclusive and aware of the needs of everyone. By developing a diverse, inclusive culture, you will be encouraging innovation and growth.
When a disabled person feels confident in your business, they will tell everyone about it. Therefore increasing your publicity and likelihood to engage with more disabled people in the future.
Is disability awareness and training something that would be useful for your business? We have more information about how our training sessions can work for your business needs.
Esi (pronounced SE) set up Celebrating Disability in 2017; offering training, consulting and auditing to support businesses attract, engage and retain disabled people. Having the opportunity to support businesses to see the wealth of benefits that disabled people can bring to business, either as customers or employees is a privilege. She is passionate about disability equality and inclusion and loves nothing more than that “Ah ha” moment with a client when they see what disability equality and inclusion can do for them.
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