The number one rule for disability inclusion is to not make assumptions. It’s also one of the primary keys to understanding and creating a positive experience for disabled employees. Employers shouldn’t make assumptions about a potential job candidate’s ability to perform a job based on a disclosed disability, or speculation of one. Recognizing and addressing unconscious bias or assumptions is an important step that will help create a culture of inclusion.
Quite often, employers don’t recognize they are exhibiting unconscious bias or stigma that’s contributing to negative experiences for disabled teammates or potential talent. Consider the following scenarios:
If you schedule a phone interview with a candidate with a perfect resume and the candidate uses a relay call, does that change your perception about the candidate?
If a team member requests Sick Leave often, does that mean they’re undedicated?
If an employee asks to work from home, does that indicate that they’re not a true part of the team?
Each scenario implies unconscious biases and stigmas that can contribute to a harmful work culture. They could also be reasons why employees may not self-disclose their disabilities.
Don’t let fear or unfamiliarity with disabilities cause you to lose good job candidates! Often people avoid situations that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar, like participating in a relay call with a candidate who is deaf or hard of hearing. Furthermore, a team member’s Sick Leave requests are not in any way linked to the amount of dedication they have to their work, nor does their desire to work from home.
Working through your unconscious bias can be challenging work, but it’s always worth the effort. Your inclusive work culture and high team morale will thank you for it!
For step-by-step guidance on how to build your team’s inclusive culture, book a free 30 minute Discovery Call with us. We work in a judgment-free zone and can help you speak Disability with Confidence.