Monday, October 11, 2010

What's Your Experience in the Workplace?

This article discusses the reception that many people with all kinds of disabilities are getting at work, as a result of lackluster company policies. 411 executives and HR managers were surveyed as part of the study.

Cubicles
Some of their findings:
  • 2/3 of companies that have diversity programs (70% of those who responded) include disability as one of the diverse components.
  • 7% of companies that do have disability programs have a group that promotes disability awareness.
  • On average, 2% of companies' new hires in the past 3 years had disabilities.
The National Organization on Disability's president is quoted as saying,
America's success in the global economy depends on how well we put to use the productive capacity of every person's talent, skill and ability. This new survey reveals that most employers are not aware of the unique contribution that workers with disabilities can make and do little to recruit them.
I'm wondering what your experience in the workplace has been and if it seems similar to these findings.

I am lucky to work for a city that is really aware of everyone's unique challenges and difficulties. I've never experienced any problems related to my deafness at work, except for normal challenges like trying to hear people talking or having conversations. I really want to be treated like any other coworker most of the time.

I think the approach that a company takes towards people with disabilities is really important. It can either empower people or it can just embarrass them. A "diversity group" might well do more to make people uncomfortable than actually help them.

What do you think?

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