Introduction to Working across Abilities

What you’ll learn to do: Discuss the impact of disabilities in the workplace

So far in this module we have discussed cultural forms of diversity, yet in a work setting we are also exposed to individuals with varied skills, talents, and abilities. Another component of diversity in the workplace is the wide range of physical and mental abilities of people you may work with. A common misconception or view of people with disabilities focuses on what an individual may lack or cannot do. Characterizing people solely by their disabilities and perceiving them as inferior to the non-disabled can lead to social prejudice and discrimination, also known as ableism.

Our challenge in the area of disabilities is learning to transcend our perception of someone’s limitations, to adopt universal design thinking and practices in order to accommodate a range of abilities, and, thereby, extend the possibilities for both individual and collective business performance.

A poster advertising National Disability Employment Awareness Month-Celebrating 70 years. The poster reads, "My disability is one part of who I am. At work, it's what people can do that matters." The poster shows an image of 2 men and 2 women, one of the men has a service dog and one of the women is in a wheelchair. The poster reads, "My disability is one part of who I am. At work, it's what people can do that matters. National Disability Employment Awareness Month- Celebrating 70 Years!"

National Disability Employment Awareness Month: The goal of this initiative is to celebrate individuals with disabilities strengthening the workforce and to bring awareness and education concerning the issue.


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