Tagged with: advocate awareness disability employment inclusion
A company is always better when it hires people from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels. One way to help your company increases its diversity while becoming a better place to work is to hire people who have disabilities. Whether an employee is missing a limb, suffers from Down Syndrome or has trouble walking or talking, that person could still be a talented worker and an asset to the team.
People with Disabilities Understand Adversity
For those who may have a visual impairment, it takes patience and a good memory to get through a day without hitting a wall or running into someone. Furthermore, it takes restraint to listen to others make negative comments about ability levels. Someone who is missing an arm or a leg has had to be creative when it comes to simple tasks such as throwing a ball or getting dressed in the morning. That type of ingenuity is going to come in handy in a business setting where creativity and the ability to deal with others are key attributes of successful people.
Workers Gain New Insights into the Lives of Others
Many of us have similar lives with families and job responsibilities. Having an employee with a disability can provide a different perspective in dealing with issues such as to getting to meetings in another building on time, or realizing the importance of dealing with health issues while doing their job. It may help co-workers develop better time management habits or get rid of distractions that may take focus on their job responsibilities. A worker who may appear dissatisfied with work can see how others use their skills to showcase their talents to reveal the pride in the fact that they have earned a job.
It Can Help Create Goodwill within the Community the Company Serves
Partnering with a local agency that provides life skills coaching to teens and adults with Intellectual or physically disability can make the company seem like an inclusive and progressive organization. For some workers with disabilities, getting a paycheck equals independence and acceptance of their ability to be a productive member of society. Others may be able to afford their own car or apartment where they can live with limited support from public organizations. Having the ability to highlight these efforts may make customers more likely to support the brand or convince investors to stakeholders for a business that truly cares about developing all its employees.
Watch Out For Worker Safety Regardless of Their Needs
If you do decide to hire workers with disabilities, make sure that your company complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It says that employers must take steps to accommodate a worker with a disability when it is reasonable to do so. For instance, it may be necessary to install a wheelchair ramp or make changes to equipment to make it easier for a worker to use. Being aware of all ADA guidelines can benefit all employees.
Your workers compensation premiums will not increase just because you have workers with disabilities, and they are not necessarily more likely to get hurt if proper precautions are taken. However, it may be worthwhile to talk to your safety consultants about any modifications that must be made to ensure that they meet the needs of all of your workers.
Hiring an individual with a disability can benefit your entire company as a whole. Your new hire benefits from the chance to establish themselves as a valuable asset, your other workers benefit from a diverse workforce and your company benefits because it will build a stronger brand through support of the community.
* Article submitted by Lee Flynn