The start of the new year is a time for reflection, renewal, and yes, new goals. Whether you are into making resolutions or just setting goals, it's a great time to think about your commitment to disability inclusion and how to make our workplaces more accessible and inclusive for applicants, candidates, and employees with disabilities.
Here are some tips on how to kick off the new year with disability inclusion top of mind:
Set clear and measurable goals. One of the first steps to promote disability inclusion is to define your goals and determine how you will measure and track your progress. Set specific and realistic targets for hiring, retention, promotion, training, engagement of diverse talent, as well as reviewing the accessibility features of your products and services. And most importantly, track your results regularly. You won’t know how you're doing unless you track and measure where you started, what you are doing and the outcomes of your work.
Educate yourself and others. Disability inclusion is not just about numbers, but also about attitudes, behaviors, and cultures. To foster a more inclusive environment, you need to learn about the different perspectives, experiences, and needs of your colleagues and customers, and how to communicate and collaborate with them effectively. You can take advantage of online courses, webinars, podcasts, books, and articles. You can also join or create employee resource groups, affinity networks, or mentoring programs to share your insights and support each other. Pro Tip: Linkedin Learning has some great courses to choose from.
Recognize Disability Inclusion IS a Competitive Advantage. If you are in the business of creating products or services, then you need the competitive edge of access and inclusion. 15% of the global population has a disability and people with disabilities represent a $13Trillion market opportunity. So, if your products and services are not accessible and inclusive you will lose market share. But before you create accessibility features, make sure you are inviting and listening to people with disabilities about what they need and how you can better serve them. They can also help you create your next innovation.
Disability Inclusion and accessibility are not just buzzwords, but essential values and skills for every workplace. These tips can help you kick off the new year right at work and make a positive difference for yourself, your organization, and the world. And, at the end of 2024, that's something pretty great to look back on that you accomplished.
Happy new year! 🎉