Disability inclusion is the process of hiring people with disabilities and creating a workplace where all employees can thrive. An inclusive workplace welcomes employees with disabilities and values their strengths. It also provides opportunities for them to succeed at all levels of the company. Professional growth, fair compensation, and career advancement are key aspects of inclusion.
In other words, inclusion isn’t just about hiring more employees with disabilities. It requires a cultural shift. The goal is to support everyone as full members of the work community. True inclusion means accepting and embracing difference.
Disability inclusion isn’t about charity. An inclusive workplace holds people with disabilities to the same standards and expectations as the broader team. Everyone works in the same facilities and receives the same pay and benefits.
When talking about disability inclusion, it helps to understand who counts as a person with a disability. For employment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines an individual with a disability as a person who:
Amendments to the ADA make clear that “disability” is defined very broadly and can include:
This definition includes invisible disabilities. These are disabilities that can’t be seen at first glance. Many people don’t disclose to their employer that they have an invisible disability. This means that companies employ people with undisclosed disabilities without knowing it. But by taking steps to create an inclusive workplace, they can support all of their employees. The bottom line is that disability Inclusion helps both employers and employees thrive.
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