Disability employment awareness month in October, has come and gone. I feel that we need more than a month of Disability employment awareness. We need to talk more about job discrimination in South Africa. We need to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship in the disability community. Employees who have a disability are good workers. They are reliable and consistent. They are dedicated more than most.
Disability Awareness Includes:
- An open discussion about the stigma and misconceptions surrounding people with disabilities.
- Changing the thinking and behavior that prevents the growth of a company or organization.
- Skills development that will help staff communicate and work with people with disabilities.
What are the Potential Benefits to your Company or Organisation?
- Focus on employee relations
- Ability to accommodate customers with disabilities
- increased productivity and growth
- Improvement of company and organizations staff
Steps for Working With Employees with a Disability
- Show Support – by creating an environment that is supportive and caring. Employees may offer help with childcare, lifts to doctor or fundraising.
- Communicate – Keep in touch via phone calls. Employees and supervisors should both do this.
- Maintaining Benefits – Look for ways to help disabled employees maintain their health and disability insurance as its vital for well-being.
- Put Accommodations In Place – such as flexible schedules, part-time work, less travel, working from home and a private resting place for ill employees. Adaptive furniture and equipment is obviously necessary. Having a specified parking close to the entrance and motorized wheelchair can help too.
- A Warm Welcome – make an effort to welcome back when the employee has been to the hospital. Provide balloons, cards, flowers, and a welcome back banner to show them how much you appreciate them. Decorate the employees’ desk with motivational quotes using colorful post-it notes.
- Healthy Snacks – should be offered at midday as a pick-me-up. The employee will be drained and energy will be low first few days returning to work, just check any dietary restrictions the employee has first.