The term DDA, is not limited to people physically handicapped. It also refers to individuals who are intellectually, psychologically, and educationally challenged. According to the World Health Organization, disability is not only a health problem but a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. In 2011, WHO reported that about 15% of the world’s population are people with disabilities. This percentage is equivalent to about one billion people at the time.
If you take in the statistics, that is almost too many to count. A sad fact on this is that the unemployment rate of persons with disabilities in some countries can be as high as 80%. It is a fact that despite the DDA anti-discrimination laws by the government, aimed at protecting the rights of such persons and to ascertain that they are given equal job opportunities, the problem is far from being resolved. In the United States, the law covers not only the protection of the PWD (Person With Disability) but also for the person living with him or her, say a spouse.
It is presumable that the main reason why unemployment rates for PWD’s is almost unmoving for years is that some companies think that people with disabilities cost more and are less productive than an average non-disabled employee. Little do these companies know that the benefits these employees come with are way more than they can compensate for.
Although the numbers are dire and grim-looking, it is good to know that many companies have opened their doors to PWDs. Merck, 3M, AT&T, and PepsiCo are some of the companies that hire people with disabilities. In fact, the US Chamber of Commerce have a report on the case studies on these companies that detailed both the benefits and importance of hiring these individuals. Worldwide, more doors of opportunities for PWDs have also opened. Here are a few reasons why companies do so:
A different perspective
The background of PWDs who are most often socially ignored, ridiculed, and ill-treated, they can provide companies perspectives that may be beneficial to the growth of the companies. They also are highly perseverant at work, due to their high adversity quotient.
Untapped resource pool
Contrary to the belief of many, people with disabilities have as much skills and talents as people without disabilities have, if not much more. They have various sets of skills and talents that they can offer to the companies.
Good company image
Good company image equates to profitability. Hence, companies pour in millions of dollars just for advertisements. Opening the company to PWDs will create an impact on the image given to the public. In turn, companies gain the respect, commitment, and loyalty of its employees.
You can setup a PWD-friendly workspace as well for your company. One not out of charity but of good will – that is to give equal opportunities to individuals who have long been neglected and rejected, but deserve more than that. Here are three ways you can do so.
Educate yourself and the staff
In some companies where they hire people with hearing and speech problems, it is imperative that the workforce is equipped and educated to be able to communicate with the employees with disabilities. It will also be beneficial for you to know hand and sign languages to be able to do so as well.
If you are implementing it just now, you will have to redesign your workplace to make it more accommodating to the special physical needs of disabled employees. Example, ramps and the like that will help employees on wheelchairs. You may train some staff on how to provide assistance if there be need of any.
Provide support groups
The role of support groups are important in helping both disabled and non-disabled employees. These will help them sort put differences and work together in harmony. Additionally, support groups have reports on what improvements and changes that will need to be done for the benefit of the employees with disabilities.
Revise company policies
This is the most important part in changes you will be making in the company. Disability laws vary, depending on which state or country you belong. Put them into mind when making the changes in the company to ensure you will have no problems with the authorities in the future.
No matter how small or big a company is, hiring people with disabilities create an invaluable impact that nothing can ever top.