“When everyone is included, everyone wins” -Jesse Jackson
Diversity, equity, inclusion and access are all words that are sparking some big conversations in the workplace right now, and thank goodness! This conversation is so important, now more than ever.
When we think of these topics, typically our conversations are focused on race and gender. Both are very important, but for some reason, disability is never included in that fold. Disability should and needs to be included in the conversation along with race and gender. Otherwise, no matter your diversity efforts, you won’t have a truly inclusive environment.
The American Disabilities Act was signed 30 years ago this year! Since, we've made incredible strides as a society to become more accessible and inclusive. However, there's still a ton of work to do. Today, the employment rate of people with disabilities is at 36 percent, when the employment rate of people without disabilities is at 77.2 percent. * This is a statistic that needs to change. Despite having laws around equal opportunity, people with disabilities do not have the same access to opportunities or growth as workers without disabilities.
How can you change this statistic? Ask about accessibility! Without a truly inclusive workplace culture, and without inclusion training, people with disabilities will never be able to participate in the corporate culture, making the environment one that will not accept them.
At the next staff, team or leadership meeting, ask the hard questions, make sure the people who need to be at the table are there and make sure everyone is heard. Not in a leadership position? Go to your leaders and HR teams and ask what they’re doing to include disability into the conversation.
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and start making a difference in your workplace today. Need help adding disability to your equity plans? Not sure what to do next? We can help! Reach out today!
* See 2019 Annual Report from University of New Hampshire’s Disability Statistics &. Demographics Rehabilitation Research & Training Center
Director of Independence at INCIGHT
Speaker for Activate
Emily Purry is a public speaker, trainer, keynote, disability rights advocate and coach in Portland, Oregon. Legally blind herself, and the parent of a child with autism, she brings her personal and professional experience together in a unique way to help move companies forward. Emily delivers presentations and trainings on disability topics relevant to today’s business environment. She specializes in accessibility, technology and the world of ADA. Emily provides valuable content from her lived experiences as a person with a disability.
Contact Emily today to begin creating change in your community. 971-244-0305 / email@example.com