It’s time to stop walking on disability inclusion eggshells.
- Compliance based: we do it because it’s the law
- Marketing based: we do it because it makes us look good
- Systemic Inclusion: it’s the way things are done around here
Many employers are of a willing mindset, but don’t know how to make it into reality:
- Some employers are waiting for a disabled person to come along (what does one look like? how do you know?)
- Others have included, but are waiting for them to have a problem (is it them or the disability? Can I discipline them or do they need something? How do I know the difference?)
- Some know want to put in accommodation adjustments, but don’t know what to do (I’ve provided technology and access, surely that’s it?)
My recent thinking on systemic inclusion is that it is about being proactive.
- Advertise accommodation adjustments – have a list in your employee manual of what’s been done before or examples of what you might offer
- Invite people to ask for what they need
- Make reviewing adjustments part of annual review systems
- Share good news stories about activities that have worked
- Remember to include hidden disability adjustments like sensory overwhelm, extra de-briefing time, allowing different levels of engagement in meetings
You don’t need to name disability adjustments, you don’t need to ask about confidential disability information, you can just simply say:
How can we support you to work at your best?
Would any of these things be useful to you? For example:
- Mobility assistance
- Assistive Technology
- Sensory distraction reduction
- Pain management breaks
- A space to stretch muscles
- Coaching & Mentoring
- Memory aids
- Clear feedback and debrief time
- Flexible scheduling
If you do it for everyone, it’s systemic inclusion and no one needs to be embarrassed to ask for help.
If you’re not sure what kind of adjustments to offer, we have a lot of lists of what’s worked before for different conditions! 62 for Mental Health alone!
We also love running webinars about practical ways to prevent inclusion issues and we can provide workplace needs assessments for specific individuals.
Please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org