Establishing a workplace inclusive of disabled people typically begins with knowing how many of your workers live with a disability. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of workers in most organizations disclose their disability. Research shows that about 30% of college-educated people in white color jobs have disabilities. However, only 3% of them disclose the disability at their workplace. This could mean that almost a quarter of your employees might have disabilities you are unaware of. It is a personal decision for workers to disclose their disability formally; thus, they cannot be forced. Consequently, you have a lot of benefits you can reap from the employee’s disclosure. Therefore, it is significant to impose specific strategies to formally encourage your staff to declare their disabilities.
How to Safely Encourage Disability Disclosure at Workplace
Make Workers Feel Comfortable to Share
Employers, especially managers, should establish a working space where disabled workers feel safe to give out the necessary personal information. This is made possible when the employees and their seniors build a strong trust bond. Through this, the workers will be guaranteed that they will not be misjudged and will be provided with the necessary support upon disclosure. Managers should ask their juniors to state what they require for work to establish a line of communication.
Create Awareness of the Benefits of Disability Disclosure
Most workers tend to evaluate the outcome of their disclosure before doing it. Therefore, educating your workers on how they will benefit from disclosing this sensitive information is essential. Managers can utilize surveys to encourage workers’ disclosure. For instance, they can introduce voluntary questionnaires to encourage workers to share their information. Some surveys may require workers to provide their names, while in others, they can remain anonymous. Ensure you keep these surveys different from the worker’s individual files and keep their disclosed information confidential.
Promote Access to Accommodations
Having access to accommodation is one of the main reasons workers will disclose their disability. If employees find out they will get support to ease their daily struggles at work following their disability, they will disclose their condition. Providing optimal support will allow the employee to deliver to their optimum level. To avoid confusion, clearly state the requisition process and the response timeline.
Create Awareness of Your Organization’s Focus on Inclusion
If you recruit a new cohort of people with disabilities, it is good to communicate its importance. Prepare the existing employee community and educate them on how to accommodate those with disabilities. This would help disabled employees develop a sense of belonging in the organization. Also, educate the existing and the new employees on the impact this inclusion will have on the organization’s goals.
Career Development Opportunities
As you provide promotion opportunities to people in your organization, it is essential to include even disabled people. This motivates other workers to disclose their information as it would not affect their career-wise. Besides, some people may feel they will be looked down upon if they give out information regarding their disabilities and hence be denied promotions.
You can contact atWork Australia to help your organization connect business and people, thus thriving. Remember that disability is not an inability; thus, provides equal chances to all employees.