A recent report on diversity and inclusion in the workplace has revealed that disability inclusion is the biggest area where employees feel most improvement is required. The study, conducted by Wildgoose, surveyed employees from 117 organisations. It highlighted that 55% of those consulted felt companies needed to do more to improve disability inclusion in the workplace.
As someone who has had a physical disability all my life, I couldn’t agree more. People with disabilities remain a relatively untapped resource. In 2015, a report produced by Scope found that a 10% increase in disabled people entering the job market would boost the public coffers by a staggering £12bn by 2030. Much has been done to raise general disability awareness whether by the media, the amazing work done by charities or through major international sporting events, most notably the Paralympic Games.
However, there is still a long way to go at grass roots level. Employer attitudes remain a significant hindrance to disability inclusion. Furthermore, disabled people may require individual support to cater for their specific needs. Disability is, after all, a very broad church encompassing all manner of physical and mental challenges where a one-size-fits-all solution is frankly impossible.
Nevertheless, the very fact employees recognise disability inclusion as an area which requires focus is a positive step in itself. As for me, the most exciting area which could bring about real change is technology. As new advances in IT and methods of working evolve the traditional office dynamic, exciting opportunities are emerging which could genuinely offer those disenfranchised from the employment market, a real chance to unlock their potential.