In a modern-day world where attitudes towards minorities are firmly shifting for the better, it’s important to reflect and take stock of some areas of society which still suffer from distinct forms of marginalisation; with thoughts specifically in this instance homing in on individuals living with a disability. Here is the importance of disability awareness training.
Given that turbulent times have arisen when considering all angles of political correctness, it’s important that as an organisation you get it right when it comes to liaising with disabled clients, disabled workmates, disabled staff members from rival companies, and more. In today’s day and age your organisation is expected to have knowledge and awareness of all the varying forms of physical, sensory and cognitive impairments. But how can your organisation have such knowledge if those on your payroll have never been taught about disability nor the needs and adjustments required for a disabled person to flourish? The answer lies with Disability Awareness Training.
Disability Awareness Training is a solid move in the right direction when it comes to spreading education and understanding of what it means to be disabled, how being disabled may affect those associated with your organisation, and how to best make reasonable adjustments to your workplace to ensure it is fit for purpose for all – guaranteeing that it is not unfairly biased towards more ‘able-bodied’ members of your organisation.
But what is Disability Awareness Training and what are the main benefits of it? Likewise, what can Disability Awareness Training bring to your organisation? Here are the top six reasons why your organisation should consider booking a Disability Awareness Training session, without delay! Check out High Speed Training for an example of what you can achieve.
It encourages openness and acceptance
By providing your employees with effective Disability Awareness Training, you’re not only adding another string to your bow in terms of workforce skills, but you’re also encouraging an organisation environment where openness and acceptance of others thrives. Often, the root cause of the ostracization of disabled people is down to confusion and misunderstanding of disability as a whole and, therefore, providing staff with the appropriate training will help eradicate most (if not all) instances of disability related workplace discrimination. An accepting workforce is a productive workforce.
Helps change attitudes toward disability
Through the likes of Disability Awareness Training, society is changing their subconscious mentality and attitude toward disability. Thanks to there now being a greater platform from which disabled people can flourish, we are seeing examples of disabled individuals who have been enabled to contribute great things to society, much more often; from disabled artists and athletes – to disabled representation within politics, due to a distinct manner of empowerment achieved through taking disability rights more seriously. This change, stemming both from mainstream exposure of disabled influencers and expert Disability Awareness Training, has only strengthened the resolve of disabled individuals and helped level the playing field evermore. Changing attitudes further still within your organisation will ensure all disabled stakeholders attributed to your organisation are empowered to achieve their fullest potential.
It’s fantastic for Public Relations
What’s better than a positive Public Persona? Not much! Good Public Relations is a sure-fire way to add value to your organisation, and although some organisations may wish to carry out their Disability Awareness Training under-the-radar, others may wish to produce a press release centred on the newfound awareness initiative. I mean, what better way to get the message across that your organisation values its employees and customers no matter what their abilities may or may not be?
It helps disabled employees to feel valued and included
When putting your staff members through their paces and introducing them to the world of Disability Awareness Training, the benefits don’t stop with having better educated employees – the positives go above and beyond just that. The clear and obvious spin-off rewards from the introduction of Disability Awareness Training is that any disabled employee working within your company will feel valued and included by the very fact that their management and/or the board of directors consider disability awareness and understanding to be of vital importance. Working for an employer who does not view disability awareness training as a topic of concern could be very demoralising for a disabled person. This feeling of value and acceptance will also extend to any disabled visitors and/or clients for the Organisation. Even if there are no disabled people working within your organisation, offering training demonstrates a clear openness to diversity and equal opportunities.
Ability to tap into a massive market
In 2012, in the EU-27 indicated that the percentage of people aged 15-44 who identified as having a disability, was as high as 8.5%. The age group from 45-64 saw figures more than double, with 35.6% of EU citizens reporting to have a disability. Despite the data being over seven years old – the figures will remain consistent throughout time, with an ever increasing aging population resulting in yet more disabled people living amongst society. These statistics are more than just a little enlightening, and really help to paint a picture as to why having some knowledge on disability and how varying disabilities can affect each individual, really can be fantastic for organisation! You could potentially be staring at a previously untouched market segment which you can now penetrate thanks to what staff members can learn through the likes of Disability Awareness Training – in other words, if your company is geared up towards being inclusive for all, then you too could benefit from hiring staff from a previously unattainable talent pool.
Increases the understanding of all forms of disability
As is often a major misconception within the wider public, not all disabilities are clear and obvious. Many hidden disabilities – such as sight loss, autism, or even a heart condition – may not be as apparent as one may think and therefore often get overlooked when thinking about how to improve on access. It’s all well and good installing a ramp or a lift for a wheelchair user, but what about others with differing degrees of impairment? Here is where Disability Awareness Training really comes into its own!
Wrapping things up…
Not only is disability awareness training critically important for improving the lives of disabled people all across the world – from school goers to senior company managers – but it also helps us all to become more thoughtful and understanding human beings, something we could all get a little more of these days!
If you’d like to see more articles like this, why not check out ‘Understanding Physical Disability – Lessons in Understanding Physical Disability from a Wheelchair User’, and others like it over on the Invacare Passionate People blog, right now!