Diversity in the Workplace
University of the Rockies
Disability Diversity Issues
Incorporating disability diversity into the workplace is a key equality challenge for employers. Lack of knowledge and understanding of disability creates difficulties in confronting and resolving issues. In many cases there are simple and reasonable measures organizations can be taken to ensure equality of treatment and opportunity for people with disabilities. Dispelling fear and confusion around disability is the first step (Shelagh Dillon, 2007).
Definition of Disability
A disability is a substantial and long-term physical, sensory or mental impairment affecting their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities (Shelagh Dillon, 2007).
This broad umbrella term incorporates a wide range of situations, making disability specific to the individual and less about defining a group. Focusing more on "ability" and less on "disability" dispels some of the negative thinking associated with disability and open up more opportunities to more people (Shelagh Dillon, 2007).
Organizations can resolve many issues associated with disability diversity by developing a culture that celebrates ability, rather than thinking of disability as a problem. This can be done by reviewing policies, particularly those regarding equality, recruitment, training, communications and facilities (Shelagh Dillon, 2007).
Training on disability diversity for all staff enhances understanding and tolerance. Disability groups and charities may give talks to staff groups free of charge and some run full training courses (Shelagh Dillon, 2007).
Recommendations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1). Look at the particular job involved. Determine its purpose and its essential functions.
2). Consult with the individual with a disability to find out his or her specific physical or mental abilities and...