Adam Humpries reports why we Should Focus on What Our Disabled Colleagues Are Able to Do, Rather Than What They Aren’t.
I came across an interesting story the other day on one of the mainstream newsfeeds and it both fascinated and surprised me in equal measure. Also, it was about the workplace so that tweaked my interest in it just a little bit more.
The story in question was about a female employee who worked up North for a company.
Now you may be thinking to yourself that it’s one of those situations where she probably faced discrimination for being physically disabled, but no that is not what this story was all about. It was about something which should not really have been an issue.
Instead of focusing on what she could do, her bosses focused on something they thought she was unable to do. In this case, it was on something completely trivial; how many times she would need to use the toilet.
Now I don’t know about you but I was to work with a colleague who was wheelchair-bound my sole thoughts would be about whether they were able to do their job to the best of their ability or make any required changes for them.
How often they go to use the restroom would not rate highly at all on my list of concerns. Hardly ever in actual fact.
Now many others who have read this column piece and have a disability or know someone who does will have an understanding of how much of an obstacle something so small can be made into. I mean at the end of the day if a person is either wheelchair bound or is has a learning disability surely to God common sense would tell you to find out what they are capable of doing then building their skills and confidence from there.
The problem isn’t the disability of the person, but rather the attitude of the company.
As mentioned in my earlier columns, I myself have a learning disability, A.S (Asperger Syndrome), and have been working in the Health and Social Care industry since early 2018. I’ve been completely open about my problems with my bosses from the get-go and thankfully due to my work I have found that it worked in my favor.
However, there are many employees out there who are facing problems either trying to enter the workplace or getting into it because the companies who are hiring them spent too much time fretting about what they can’t do rather than what they can.
This is where companies are losing out as there is a lot that disabled employees can offer to the workforce including a willingness to learn, progress up the career ladder, but also help abled-bodied people how to understand disability at greater depth.