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How Companies Can Add Disability to Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

For many people, adding disability to diversity and inclusion initiatives never even comes to mind. However, the voices of those living with disabilities need to be heard. As a provider for companies and managed care organizations serving this population, Direct Care Innovations is passionate about this population’s workplaces. To that end, this article contains several ways in which readers can practically apply the information here.

How Companies Can Add Disability to Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Making Accommodations Versus Inclusion

The law requires employers to make accommodations for those with disabilities. It is one thing to provide accommodations as required by law. However, it is quite another to actively include employees with disabilities in your strategic plans and initiatives. Moreover, some people’s disabilities aren’t obvious. Thus, creating a supportive, inclusive environment instills confidence and removes barriers you may not even know exist. 

Some of those with intellectual disabilities in the workforce don’t feel comfortable speaking up. They may worry about disclosing their challenges or asking for accommodations. As such, their reasons may be fear of reprisal or of being treated differently than others. Of course, others don’t have the option not to disclose, as their disability prevents discretion. Thus, employers who proactively add disability to diversity and inclusion initiatives promote a safe environment for all.

Engaging a Diverse Workforce

Roughly 15% of the global population has some type of disability. As previously mentioned, not all disabilities are observable. Whatever the disability, an easy option is to allow a work-from-home option. Until recently, that wasn’t always an easy option. However, COVID-19 changed the workforce and work environments, and some of the changes will sustain. Work from home options once relegated to the tech industry and coastal cities now pervade throughout the U.S. This accommodation alone benefits some employees with disabilities. Of course, adding tools and resources to enable workers to work effectively and with more confidence only adds to their job performance – whether in the office or at home.

Advocating: What Employers and Care Providers Can Do

Employers who haven’t already done so can add disability to their Human Resource initiatives. Obviously, this includes an element of diversity and inclusion initiatives. Additionally, it involves actively including this population as part of the potential recruiting talent pool. Moreover, communicating your proactive intent to remove barriers and recruit attracts candidates who may not have considered applying previously. 

As with all work cultures, both the messaging and behaviors trickle down from the top. Therefore, senior leaders must talk the talk and walk the walk. If your organization recognizes disabilities as part of your diversity and inclusion efforts, you must demonstrate that by living out the values you profess. 

For those who provide services to those living with disabilities, you play an important role. Your advocacy, encouragement, and practical support equip these individuals to build confidence, thrive, and experience meaningful opportunities. Please encourage them to identify their passions and purposes, use their voices to practice self-agency, advocate for themselves, and never give up. 

Providing Solutions: How DCI Supports Providers

Whether you are a business, government entity, insurance company, or managed care provider, DCI is committed to delivering software solutions in all 50 states to make your lives easier. We provide solutions that enable you to automate workflow, integrate disparate systems, and achieve EVV regulations. Our solutions free you up to focus on what you do best: providing care to those in need. Call us at (480) 295-3307 or request a demo,

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