I recently read an article that made me grin. Dustin Maynard entitled his article ‘The Secret to Disability Inclusion’. It made a strong impression because everything he said was just so darn true. Disability inclusion isn’t as complicated as people think. Focus on what people can do, rather than what they can’t. Look for strengths first, look at what people can offer. Focus on ability, not the disability. Once this mindset is in place, the rest gets easier. Here are three simple mindset leaps for you and your organisation to soar with:
Mindset leap 1: Why hire disabled people? Won’t it be a load of hassle?
Quit looking at the negatives about disability that you see in the media. There are rather a lot of benefits your organisation can’t afford to miss out on. Are you ready? Here are just a few…
If you include disabled people in your search for talent, you’ve got a wider talent pool to recruit from and a greater chance of finding the best person for the job. Disabled people tend to stay in their jobs longer, increasing retention. We are just as productive as non-disabled people but have fewer workplace accidents. And less sick time. Disabled people and their families are consumers with valuable spending power (£249 billion a year in the UK alone). Can you afford to ignore this? The costs associated with inclusion are far less than you might think, and the benefits far outweigh them.
Mindset leap 2: What if we do/say the wrong thing?
There’s no doubt about it. This is a scary mindset to overcome. It’s easy to say the wrong thing, but equally easy to ask what language is preferred. And it’s easy to learn. One of the best benefits of employing disabled people is that we’ll help your organisational culture shift naturally. We offer a different viewpoint, a fresh perspective as it were. Inclusive cultures attract more customers and the best candidates. Diversity increases both innovation and the bottom line.
To help people jump over this hurdle, Evenbreak developed a best practice portal. It allows everyone in the organisation to have access to a comprehensive and practical set of resources. And it’s for everyone, not just senior leaders. The resources are kept bite-sized, so you can dip in and learn as time allows. And it’s developed by the real experts: disabled people and employers who are already implementing best practice.
Mindset leap 3: How did you say we start again?
Just do it. Have a read of Dustin’s excellent article. Look at ability rather than disability. And if you get in a pickle and want a hand, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org