As the country’s most significant minority population, persons with disabilities face discrimination on the job and in society. Additionally, C-suite executives have been aggressively searching for methods to eliminate handicap stigma and reduce the employment gap.
Disability activists, on the other hand, believe that despite extensive study, public perceptions of the disability population remain bleak. How can we find a middle ground? How can we have the difficult discussions that will encourage both sides??
What steps can we take to go the additional mile?
First and foremost, I have some unpleasant news to share with you. According to a Scope poll, 67% of the British population (which I believe parallels the U.S.) indicated they were uncomfortable talking to individuals with disabilities, and 85% said they felt that people with disabilities were mistreated.
Even more awkward: 21% of younger people say they’ve gone out of their way to avoid talking to someone they suspect has a handicap. On the other hand, real-life persons with impairments say they are afraid of being seen as weak or inept if they inform their supervisors they have a mental health problem.
Fewer than 12 percent of US businesses have met the Department of Labor’s 7 percent disability inclusion goal. Increasing that number is not difficult, given one in four working-age adults has a handicap, and many are ready to go back into the workforce.
Ending the old methods is a need. People with disabilities who participated in the Scope study shared their own experiences of coping with internalized shame with researchers. Their lack of role models and inspiration stems partly from the fact that persons with disabilities are not given the prominence they deserve in society as a whole.
Changing the world requires a lot of effort. Nike is a natural fit for the Nike+ community as a forward-thinking company. Recent Nike ads feature Justin Gallegos, an avid University of Oregon distance runner who collaborated with the company biomechanics team to build his ideal running shoe.
As a result of his good fortune, he can attend a university so close to the Nike headquarters. First half marathon finish: 2:03:49 in April, the 20-year-remarkable old’s performance. However, despite his excitement, Gallegos remains focused on his goal of breaking the 2:00:00 mark.
Gallegos was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP), so did I mention that? In the early years of his running career, he admits that he spent a lot of time running and falling just to get back up and try again.
He’s been working tirelessly to manage his muscles and improve coordination. He got signed to a professional running deal due to his dedication and perseverance. He is the brand’s first CP-affiliated athlete to sign a contract.
However, the video did not meet with universal acclaim from the handicapped community. (Hint: Justin is described as having CP by the narrator.) According to Jay Ruderman, head of the Ruderman Family Foundation, “the disability community isn’t okay with such rhetoric. “Any group of individuals wants to be recognized as people who are just like everyone else.
The phrase “suffering” makes it seem as though you’re pity-seeking.” Ending the old methods is a need. Ruderman applauds Justin and the video, but he prefers to use language that puts individuals first: Justin has cerebral palsy. “To us, you’re simply a Nike athlete” was a remark that some reviewers, who praised Justin and Nike, stated they would have deleted. They point out that it deviates from the brand’s theme of empowerment and self-belief and that the tale goes on the wrong path.
The question is, what is my opinion? It’s Nike’s good luck if that video inspires you. People with disabilities want to be recognized as equals, not as plights to be taken care of by the government or charitable organizations. Justin is an excellent illustration of this. See runner Justin Gallegos’ previous Breaking2 video where he explains that he thinks we are all genuinely infinite to learn more about his life. This one, in which he discusses his high school experience with running, is my favorite.
Eric Swope’s video outshines any research or data I could ever provide. Allowing individuals with disabilities to participate in decision-making is an excellent example of cultural change, as shown by the inclusion of persons with disabilities on the team.
Everyone falls, gets drugged, or vomits, “Galegos has stated. “Everything happens.” It helps me stay positive as a disability advocate. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to tear down barriers between persons with disabilities and non-disabled people!
To begin, stop believing that most people understand what it’s like to have a handicap. They aren’t. It is time to stop operating and teaching your companies and workers as if they already knew about disability prejudice or how to communicate about mental health or physical health. Not everyone knows about Justin or any other disabled person.
Most of us are surrounded by a media sphere. There’s a lot to learn and accomplish, and it’s not just for those with disabilities; it’s for all of us.
Make an effort to find out why you’ve been unable to recruit persons with impairments. Get out there and meet some people with disabilities if you don’t already know any. Make an effort to include persons with disabilities in the planning and operation of your company.
They are more inclined to talk about their life and assist you in solving business challenges that may one day boost your bottom line if you give them a chance to be heard. This is a win-win situation for both parties. First, familiarize yourself with the myths and realities of the employment opportunity.
Do your homework if you’re in charge of a small firm. Give individuals with disabilities who haven’t affiliated with your firm a voice and a place at the table. Ask your customers what they want from your company.
Connect with others by inviting them in. Besides gaining knowledge about your business, you’ll also get real-world perspectives that may help you kick prejudice to the curb. You may get aid from a local disability organization, or you can go to national services. The Cerebral Palsy Foundation recommends that you “Just Say Hi” as an alternative.
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Find the courage to open up about your life, the help you need, and the best ways to promote your future achievement if you are a person with a handicap.
Reach out to your employer if you’re one of the 20% of persons with disabilities who are working and provide resources and training. Transform the atmosphere in the office. Use the national campaign’s catchphrase, “Eye to Eye”: To make a difference, just one person needs to step forward.
You must recognize that the rights of people with disabilities are human rights if you are serious about closing the gap. Instead of just “meeting” the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, look for ways to celebrate it. In the words of Richard Ellenson, president of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, “we should be celebrating that Nike has worked with Justin to understand the individual nature of his stride and so allowed him to reach potential better—just as the company does with any individual who is good enough to understand the needs of his particular body, and need the best supports.” Justin, one of the most outstanding and driven people we know, deserves all the praise and recognition he can get.
By taking part in an event like Springboard’s formal assembly of chief diversity officers, who are Taking the Pledge, you can actively hold your fellow officers responsible for their actions.
Top executives and chief diversity and inclusion officers may share their experiences, learn from one another, and be honest about how far they believe their organizations have come in the complex process of embracing a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities. Signing on as role models, holding each other responsible, and fostering a trust-based culture are some of the promises made by companies that join.