Disabled or differently-abled people comprise up to 20-40% of a country’s population, out of which half of them are unemployed. Consider, out of the entire population a fourth of the workforce is dissipated, just because they are different.
Discrimination based on physical or mental disabilities is an act of social injustice. Undermining a skill in the name of a disability can never be rationally justified. This type of discrimination creates massive polarization within society. A demographic analysis suggested that almost one in five people with disabilities aged 15-24 years experienced discrimination.
According to the disability employment services act 2006, all disabled people are eligible to work. If the person possesses all desirable attributes, a company or a business is liable to hire that person regardless of his/her physical/mental disabilities. Talent should never suffer, it needs an opportunity to bloom.
Disabled people are the gems of society because they are the embodiment of purity and authenticity. They resonate with love, kindness, and positivity. A study revealed that hiring disabled people can improve morale within the workplace.
If the following points are brought into consideration, we can collectively make this world a better place for the differently-abled to live in.
- Minimum wage
People with disabilities should never be compensated over lower than minimum wage. Instead of encouraging them, it could discourage them. Lower than minimum wage is never justified over a mere disability. Providing them with equal wages would increase their productivity and enhance their efficacy. Providing lower than minimum wage to a person based upon his/her physical/mental disability could cause them to question their abilities hence diminishing workplace morale.
Equal pay is a universal issue and requires sensible handling.
Providing the disabled with an accessible environment is very important for a business or company to prosper. Installing ramps for the physically disabled is an effective way to make them feel at home. If hiring persons with disabilities, companies are bound to provide them with an accessible work environment. Exploiting someone’s disability is questionable by law. As law-abiding citizens, employers should assure proper work facilities that are conveniently accessible to everyone.
- Productive environment
A productive environment breeds fruitfulness. It is clearly understood that a prolific work environment gives rise to increased work efficiency to many folds. A productive environment is mandatory to sustain a company’s competitiveness for a business to thrive. If a workplace is lacking productivity or is incompetent, it can directly affect a company’s progress. Distractive workplace environment tends to lower productivity and hinders rapid growth.
- Reasonable accommodations
Reasonable accommodations are defined as any alterations to a job, changes in the way a company or a business operates which could allow a disabled person to apply for the job. Some companies consider it to be costly, but it is pretty effortless. Something as simple as a larger computer monitor and “zoomed in” viewing settings. Placing an employee’s workstation on the ground floor can sometimes work it out. Also, with the emergence of beneficial technologies like virtual employment, can make it convenient to hire disabled people. Flexible work hours can also open the possibility to employ a differently-abled person.
- Staff training
A company’s staff is an essential part of the workforce. Their effective or ineffective training can make or break a business. Creative taskforces which can mold a task according to people’s abilities or disabilities is the key factor in a company’s prosperity. A company’s sustainability and viability depend on its creative and competitive staff and taskforce.
The company staff should be well trained and well prepared to deal with disabled persons. Any sort of mishandling could land the company into serious complications.
- De-stigmatization and sterilization
The stigma surrounding disabled people is toxic and corrosive for a society to bloom. De-stigmatization of the workplace is necessary before hiring people with disabilities. Normalization of the fact that a person with a disability is equally efficient is a necessity. The sterilization and cleansing of the workplace is an important aspect of boosting workplace efficiency. The employer should assure that all of the employees have high regard for each other’s differences and are not insensitive. Insensitivity to disabilities could derail the company of its purpose and decelerate progress.
- Customized employment strategies
Customized employment is designed to assist the employer and employee alike. It is akin to tailoring your work. This strategy is employed considering the needs of a special person. Keeping in line their strengths and weaknesses, an employer designs a job.
Employing new strategies like customized employment could potentially enhance productivity. Employers and specialists devise this strategy for the betterment of their businesses. This might work to meet the needs and uniqueness of a particular employee.
- Deploying empathy
Regardless of what their abilities and disabilities are, disabled people always starve empathy. Empathy is a necessity while dealing with them. The staff and other employees should empathize and not sympathize with them. Empathy breeds kindness and kindness is one of the key factors to sustain a friendly workplace.
- Dismaying sympathy
Disabled people do not require sympathy, they do not want someone to feel bad about them. Looking down upon someone because of their mental or physical lacking is a sign of an insensitive mindset. For a healthier society or workplace to prevail, it is important that all employees are considered equal. Considering someone superior or inferior based upon their physical or mental abilities or disabilities is highly immoral and unethical. An employer should always ensure that their parameters of judgment are unbiased.
- Improvise and innovate
The employers and the employee of a workplace alike should broaden their thinking horizon. Hence make themselves flexible with the fact that working with differently-abled would sometimes require innovation in a task according to their needs. Innovative and creativity are the backbones of a company’s uniqueness and persistence. Lack thereof would lead to a company’s demise or it won’t persist for long. In order for a company to sustain itself in a competitive environment, it is important to have innovative and creative people within the team.
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who is also a parent to the child with a disability, said, “Communities are becoming inclusive for people with disabilities. That doesn’t mean merely putting a ramp alongside a stairwell, or greater educational opportunities, it also means greater breath of employment options for everyone.”
With greater employment opportunities for everyone, communities would progress dramatically. When people start working together, it creates a sense of acceptance and togetherness within a society. It is important for a community’s upholding and unity. People with disabilities are the assets of a society who need ample protection and care. They are immensely talented and skillful people. If their talents are channelized effectively, they can cause wonders.