A person with a disability does not mean that they are not able to perform a task or do a specific job. It only means that a task or job comes with challenges and that they might have some limitations fulfilling what is expected. Everyone needs work. It is an essential part of life, social interactivity and survival. For a lot of people working means so much more than just receiving that paycheck at the end of the month. People want to be in social environments. They want to feel wanted and needed and they want to be able to be good at something. For people with disabilities, even more so, they want to feel independent.
People with disabilities have abilities and skills to pursue meaningful careers and have the same aspirations to where they want to climb the corporate ladder. They can do their part within the economy. People with a disability, are the only ones who can define their limitations. Easier said than done, is to concentrate on the strong points and see how having a disability can be advantageous to you and the company.
However, in today’s business world, employers can pick and choose among hundreds of CV’s for every vacancy. There might be employers or disabled work-seekers that think employers will want someone who is less “trouble” and less expensive to make the workplace more accessible or disable-friendly. Sometimes during interview processes, preconceived opinions and possible barriers are already established. This is really not fair to both parties.
There is so much ability still left in a disabled person like the energy, the sheer drive, self-motivation and the intellect. Their specific disability might have taught them extreme patience and perseverance. Less severe disabled people are also much more independent and good problem solvers. Having someone with such a positive outlook on life and have such determination, inspires the entire team and organization.
It is not easy living with a disability. It is also sometimes a barrier when it comes to the educational part within companies. Staff feels uncomfortable and feel awkward not know how to deal with disabled staff members.
Companies should rather focus on what the “differently – abled” person brings to the table. They have their own unique set of skills that can do wonders and can lead to colleagues being motivated and inspired. The Mindspa Institute have a special half-day workshop that will enable your staff to have a better understanding of the variety of disabilities they may encounter and how to deal with this in a sensitive, practical manner. It will help them to overcome the natural fear we may have when we interact with a disabled person and give tips on awareness and etiquette in these situations.