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Workforce Culture

For companies at any level, the place where business leaders can go to learn more on making deeper employment connections for disability inclusion. This information will help anchor the business culture and environment in disability inclusion with topics related to accessibility, accommodations, self-identification, self-disclosure, compliance and labor law

Ensuring Success with Self-Identification

Creating environments where people with disabilities feel welcomed, valued, respected, heard and supported is crucial for success in today’s economy. One of the keys to this is creating a place where individuals are comfortable self-identifying that they have a disability.

How can companies create a work culture where employees are comfortable disclosing a disability? Now more than ever, how people identify, as well as when and why they disclose a disability, determines workplace culture. Research shows it is not an overstatement to say that having more people who openly disclose their disability creates an inclusive culture that has the power to dramatically shape future business culture and success.

I was thinking over the last few weeks that a huge thanks is in store for what we have done thus far. The thanks isn't for the programs we have completed or the operational structure we are still climbing on our future success. It's what this team does for us individually any why we are here.

I can honestly say if it wasn't for this team and the discussions, the collaboration, the messaging we want our members and people in our communities to hear...... I wouldn't have "checked" the box for as an individual w/ a disability. For what I am recently working on and when the question was asked..... over my 15 years here in my current organization I've always skipped over it, chose NOT to answer it and/or simply avoided it.

So it's a huge thanks to what we have done w/ Disability:IN that my most recent need for this to come up.... it wasn't skipped, it wasn't avoided.... it was answered accurately. If I am asking people within my organization to have the ability to come forward and/or raise their hand for help/support/education/awareness...... I have to do it to.

Tracy Glorioso

Operations Director at ManpowerGroup

Best practices for creating a culture of self-identification include the following:

  1. Educate – talk to your experts, the in-house individuals with disabilities.
  2. Connect – face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.
  3. Lead – give voice to leaders to self-identify as having a disability.
  4. Evolve – change your strategy as needed to help normalize self-identification.
  5. Trust – put people, not their disability, first.

According to EARN (the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion), a strong self-identification program can encourage employees to bring their “whole selves” to work, and thus is an essential component of a workplace that is truly inclusive.

Another important practice is to ensure the delivery of disability etiquette and awareness training. Hiring managers and employees should be trained on different scenarios to make people with disabilities feel welcome and safe in their company.