Disability in a place of work can have stigma attached to it, meaning that people with minor issues may suffer in silence, rather than speaking out and getting help from their employers.
However, according to Tab Ahmad, founder and managing director at EmployAbility, has said that it is vital for firms to make sure they are giving their employees the opportunity and an understanding mentality to come forward and disclose their disabilities so that they can get help where it is needed most.
She said that creating an inclusive and sympathetic workplace where people are aware that disabilities exist and are understanding of them is the first stage, and urged companies to carry out training and workshops to help promote this notion to everyone that works in their office.
Looking into the creation a set of guidelines that makes the process of talking about disability much easier for all involved was also recommended.
"Make sure their staff feel confident in disclosing any disabilities and maybe have some processes in place to know what to do if someone does disclose a disability. [Make sure] HR or whoever is in charge of that area knows what to do to and put relevant measures in place. Having some sort of internal process in place that gives the staff the confidence to disclose disabilities and seek adjustments is really important."
However, Ms Ahmad also said that it is important not to fear getting things wrong, and to take it one step at a time. She advised taking baby steps, as even little advancements are still a move in the right direction for any workplace, and it will be appreciated by those who need care and assistance the most.
"Even small initiatives, a bit of training, education for staff -anything they can do to let people know that this can be brought up [has a big impact]. It doesn't need to be hidden."
Posted by Fiona Summers