It is one of the fundamental truths, people are empowered through having a job and contributing to something larger than themselves. Being able to provide for yourself, and, perhaps, for a family as well, raises self-esteem. It is no different for those with a disability, if they can get a job, it lifts them in all respects. Doing a good job, giving it your best and being affirmed for a job well done enriches the soul somehow. No matter what the situation, from the lowliest position to the highest in the land, we all appreciate praise well apportioned.
Empowering People with Disability Through Work
Unfortunately, many people with disabilities find it hard to get gainful employment. It seems like many employers and those charged with employing on behalf of companies and businesses will not give individuals with a disability a chance to prove themselves. Diversity in the workplace, often, does not extend to those with a disability. The people in charge, it seems, are seeing the disability rather than the person. Many people are afraid of people who appear differently. They do not want to be embarrassed or possibly cause offence, so, they shut these people out.
This is a great shame, really, because diversity enriches organisations and the individuals within these organisations. Getting over a bit of discomfort can result in powerful new relationships being forged that benefit everyone involved. Disabled work and activities can flourish inside supportive businesses. Productivity does not necessarily need to suffer because employers are employing people with disabilities. A bit of creativity can adapt roles to people, rather than always adapting people to roles. Whatever the disability, and there are a wide range of disabilities, we all need to open up to diversity in the workplace.
The positives far outweigh the negatives for both employer and employee. Your customers may see your business in a new light, respecting your maturity and compassionate workplace policies. Your staff can find themselves growing as human beings, as they realise many of the prejudices they held toward people with disability were unfounded and mistaken. If you don’t know anyone with a disability, how can you make judgements about them? Disabilities do not define the individual, they may enrich that person through their journey with their particular disability. Diversity makes us all better and stretches our conception of what it means to be human. I challenge more Sydney and Australian employers to open their hearts, minds and wallets by hiring more individuals who may have a disability.