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Creating a Disability Inclusion Framework: Best Practices and Viable Strategies

Creating a Disability Inclusion Framework: Best Practices and Viable Strategies

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Inclusivity strategy for People with Disabilities (PWD) - 4th Disability online conference hosted by Robert Edwin Conferences and presented by Dr Charles Cotter on 4 March 2021.

Inclusivity strategy for People with Disabilities (PWD) - 4th Disability online conference hosted by Robert Edwin Conferences and presented by Dr Charles Cotter on 4 March 2021.

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Creating a Disability Inclusion Framework: Best Practices and Viable Strategies

  1. 1. CREATING A DISABILITY INCLUSION FRAMEWORK: BEST PRACTICES AND VIABLE STRATEGIES CHARLES COTTER PhD, MBA, B.A (Hons), B.A www.slideshare.net/CharlesCotter VIRTUAL (ONLINE) CONFERENCE 4 MARCH 2021
  2. 2. SCOPE OF PRESENTATION • Defining the fundamental concepts • Status quo and challenges and constraints of disability inclusion • Developing a Disability Inclusion Framework – 4 pillars, elements and implementation process steps • Enabling and creating a culture of inclusion • Raising awareness, changing attitudes, facilitating participation & overcoming myths about PWD • Governance (policy & procedure)
  3. 3. SCOPE OF PRESENTATION • The strategic imperative and priority of disability inclusion • Disability inclusion: Best practices and winning strategies • Disability inclusion: The key principles & elements of a strategy • Inclusive and proactive HR and employment practices • Awareness and (Management) Training • Question and Answer session
  4. 4. POINT
  5. 5. COUNTERPOINT
  6. 6. CURRENT S.A REALITY (2019/20) • The 20th Commission for Employment Equity Annual Report (2019 – 2020), states that: People with disability at top management level the report showed an insignificant increase with numbers showing in 2019 a representation of 1,5 percent, against (2018: 1,3 percent) and (2017: 1,3 percent).
  7. 7. DEFINING THE FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS • Diversity • Diversity Management (of PWD’s) • Mainstreaming of disability management • (Disability) Inclusion
  8. 8. DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY
  9. 9. DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT OF PWD’s • Diversity management must take into consideration the various forms of disability: Physical (mobility impairment and chronic illness); Sensory (visual and hearing impairment); Cognitive (mental retardation and learning disability) and Emotional (depression and other psychological conditions) • As they interact with different: Workplace demands and tasks; Attitudes and expectations of employers and co-workers and Perceptions of PWD’s themselves.
  10. 10. MAINSTREAMING OF AND THE TWIN TRACK APPROACH TO DISABILITY MANAGEMENT • Mainstreaming disability in development & humanitarian response is broadly defined as the inclusion of PWD in all aspects of development and humanitarian efforts. • It means that disability should be considered in all programming (although disability-specific actions & programming may also be required) • The ‘twin track approach’ combines mainstreaming with disability-specific projects needed to achieve the full inclusion & participation of PWD • Mainstreaming is simultaneously a method, a policy & a tool for achieving social inclusion, which involves the practical pursuit of non-discrimination & equality of opportunity. • Mainstreaming disability is about ‘recognizing persons with disabilities as rights-holding, equal members of society who must be actively engaged in the development process irrespective of their impairment or other status.’
  11. 11. DEFINITION OF INCLUSION
  12. 12. DEFINITION OF DISABILITY INCLUSION
  13. 13. 4 PILLARS OF A DISABILITY INCLUSION FRAMEWORK • Organizational Culture • Governance (e.g. policy & procedure) • Strategy • HRM and employment Practices
  14. 14. ELEMENTS OF A DISABILITY INCLUSION FRAMEWORK  Legislation and Company Policies (Governance)  Corporate Social Responsibility  Data Availability  Safety, Facilities & Technology  Talent Acquisition  Awareness & Training
  15. 15. DISABILITY INCLUSION FRAMEWORK: IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS STEPS
  16. 16. ACCOUNTABILITY FRAMEWORK INCLUDES TWO ALIGNED COMPONENTS • An Entity accountability framework, with 15 common- system indicators, focused on four areas:  leadership,  strategic planning and management;  inclusiveness; programming and  organizational culture. • An Accountability scorecard on disability inclusion
  17. 17. ENABLING A CULTURE OF INCLUSION • While there are many ways that companies can encourage greater inclusivity across the employee lifecycle, an organizational culture of inclusion builds a foundation so that PWD feel welcome & valued. There are a few steps organizations can take to create this culture of acceptance:  Benchmark. e.g Disability Equality Index (DEI)  Feedback  Representation  Mentorship  Education  Adopting Fair Recruitment and Hiring Practices
  18. 18. RAISING AWARENESS, CHANGING ATTITUDES AND PARTICIPATION • Evaluations of disability inclusion in mainstream development NGOs’ programmes found that ‘challenging staff and community attitudes is the key first step to seeing positive change towards the inclusion of disabled people in development work’ • Interacting with PWD can result in a positive change in the attitudes and behaviour of those implementing programmes and enable them to better tailor their services to meet the needs of PWD. • Bringing disability into the political & social discourse can create awareness and understanding of it at organisational, community & institutional levels, which can promote positive attitudes towards it. • Evaluations of disability inclusion efforts by a mainstream development NGO found that positive attitudinal change towards children and adults with disabilities is possible in a relatively short period.
  19. 19. RAISING AWARENESS, CHANGING ATTITUDES AND PARTICIPATION • Greater awareness encourages identification of incidence, type and impact of disability. • This awareness should encompass recognition of the diverse experiences of people with disabilities, and an understanding of the social model and the different barriers PWD face. • Best practices for disability inclusion in development & humanitarian work are ‘participatory, actively & meaningfully involving PWD in all matters concerning them in the process of forming policies & programmes’ • It is important to reinforce inclusion messages regularly with all stakeholders.
  20. 20. OVERCOMING MYTHS ABOUT WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES • Many concerns cited by employers about hiring PWD regarding exorbitant costs & additional supervision required for PWD to ensure high- levels of productivity, safety & quality are grounded in misconceptions, rather than realities. • These costs can be traded-off by benefits such as greater innovativeness, improved workplace flexibility & fewer legal liabilities. Evidence indicates that inclusive hiring practices can entail additional economic benefits derived from a broader and more-qualified talent pool, lower employee turnover and associated costs, greater access to diverse markets & marketing/public image opportunities that help with business growth. • Since many supervisor concerns are grounded in misconceptions, training and senior-level commitment are key areas for improvement. • Change comes from the top down & staff look to management & policy to determine how highly their organization values inclusive workplace & hiring practices.
  21. 21. OVERCOMING MYTHS ABOUT WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES • By equipping supervisors, HR & others in a leadership function with the needed skills to understand & implement effective employment strategies for PWD, employers can go a long way in overcoming barriers to diverse hiring practices. • Contemporary qualitative research has demonstrated that the very act of promoting employees with disabilities into management positions can have positive effects in terms of workplace perceptions of disability . • These studies also noted that barriers continue to exist for PWD in senior positions, citing what the others refer to as “conditional identities,” through which openness about disability can be a difficult path to navigate for such individuals. • This research establishes that managers with disabilities contribute to inclusive environments by “confounding established notions of disabled people only working in peripheral employment roles”
  22. 22. SPECIFIC, INCLUSIVE HR POLICIES • Commitment to Inclusion at All Organizational Levels • HR strategies and oversight constitute an essential resource for on-job supervisors • Rather than localizing organizational readiness concerns at the supervisory level, employers should acknowledge that commitment at all levels of an organization is critical. • Training opportunities and resource capacities should be made available to all levels of the organization. • Well-equipped, appropriately focused HR teams lead to better informed supervisors, which lead to decreased stigmatization of PWD as well as tangible benefits such as increased employee satisfaction and productivity, decreased turnover, and reduced long-term costs due to training, hiring, and accommodations inefficiencies.
  23. 23. HR POLICIES FOR CURBING WORKPLACE STEREOTYPES AND MISCONCEPTION • Contemporary literature on the business case for hiring people with disabilities demonstrates multiple benefits. • To overcome the challenge of stereotypes & misunderstandings about disability in the workplace, employers can seek to facilitate a climate of self-disclosure & accountability. • Successful disability employment strategies often involve putting systems in place that:  (a) provide appropriate, organization-wide training;  (b) establish accountability, self-disclosure, and continuous improvement measures/mechanisms; and  (c) designate responsible individuals. • Non-inclusive environments deter employees from highlighting barriers and systematic concerns about their workplace, with fear of reprisal being a primary deterrent. • Accountability & continuous improvement efforts are hindered where employees do not feel comfortable voicing their concerns about workplace barriers.
  24. 24. THE STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE AND PRIORITY OF INCLUSION OF PWD’s • Ensuring an inclusive future of work is part of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. • Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises the right of persons with disabilities to work on an equal basis with others. • Persons with disabilities and the disability perspective needs to be central in all future of work related discussions at global, regional, national and local levels.
  25. 25. THE 4IR MEGATRENDS OF THE FUTURE • The megatrends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will shape the future of work are: • Technological revolution; • The new skills that will be required; • The cultural changes being witnessed in society; • Demographic shifts and • The mitigation of climate change. • Analysis of the five megatrends through a disability lens has led to the identification of 5 key objectives for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the future of work.
  26. 26. FIVE KEY OBJECTIVES FOR THE INCLUSION OF PWD’s IN THE FUTURE OF WORK • 1. New forms of employment and employment relations integrate disability inclusion • 2. Skills development and life-long learning made inclusive of persons with disabilities • 3. Universal Design embedded in development of all new infrastructure, products and services • 4. Assistive technologies, existing and newly developed, to be made affordable and available • 5. Measures to include persons with disabilities in growing and developing areas of the economy
  27. 27. DISABILITY INCLUSION: BEST PRACTICES AND WINNING STRATEGIES • Disability inclusion has moved from a compliance-centric issue to a business differentiator. • Organizations experiencing success have aligned inclusion with their core foundational values, essentially integrating it within the DNA of the company. • To begin the journey toward an inclusive culture, HR professionals can consider three best practices:  1. Align inclusion with the company’s mission.  2. Establish a cross-functional team.  3. Choose a champion
  28. 28. DISABILITY INCLUSION: BEST PRACTICES AND WINNING STRATEGIES • 1. Adapting online materials, publications and diversity statements to reflect specific commitment to disability inclusion; • 2. Providing holistic, top-down training opportunities for supervisors, HR, and co- workers of employees with disabilities; • 3. Locating productive partnerships; and • 4. Developing specific human resource management principles for hiring and recruiting people with disabilities.
  29. 29. DISABILITY INCLUSION: GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE STRATEGY • The strategy is guided by the following principles:  Non-discrimination  Equality of opportunity  Accessibility  Respect for disability as part of human diversity  Gender equality  Involvement of persons with disabilities  Through their representative organizations.
  30. 30. DISABILITY INCLUSION: KEY ELEMENTS OF THE STRATEGY 1. Strategic planning & management  1.1 Strategic planning regarding the inclusion & empowerment of PWD and their human rights.  1.2 Coherence, coordination & knowledge & information management.  1.3 Oversight through monitoring, evaluation & auditing.
  31. 31. DISABILITY INCLUSION: KEY ELEMENTS OF THE STRATEGY 2. Inclusiveness  2.1 Participation.  2.2 Data.  2.3 Universal design, accessibility and reasonable accommodation.
  32. 32. DISABILITY INCLUSION: KEY ELEMENTS OF THE STRATEGY 3. Organizational culture  3.1 Capacity development.  3.2 Awareness-raising and trust building.  3.3 Human and financial resources.
  33. 33. PROACTIVE VS REACTIVE HR PRACTICES • In many cases, inclusive HR hiring can help create familiarity with the workplace barriers & needs experienced by prospective employees with disabilities. • The broader theme from the literature indicates that, rather than engaging in reactive HR practices, employers should develop “strategic human resources management principles”. • Other similar best practices for attracting and retaining talented employees with disabilities include having HR members & supervisors engage in periodic performance-based discussions with employees to help identify barriers, accommodations & other needs. • Also conducting exit interviews for employees leaving the organization to help “identify patterns and themes” which may be useful in improving future outcomes.
  34. 34. AWARENESS AND TRAINING Disability Orientation Disability Sensitivity Training  Forums: external & expert speakers  PWD-inclusive languages  Training for HR, leaders & team members  Disability-specific programs
  35. 35. MANAGEMENT TRAINING - EQUIPPING SUPERVISORS WITH THE TOOLS TO SUPPORT INCLUSIVE WORK ENVIRONMENTS • Adequate supervisor training, resources & information continues to be a key strategy for improving employment outcomes for PWD, to reduce unconscious bias by facilitating an inclusive work environment. • Inclusive workplaces both improve employment outcomes for PWD & also help to alleviate any misconceptions or stereotypes that supervisors feel towards PWD. • Some best practices for supervisor training include not only engaging in company-wide “education programs aimed at ensuring inclusive practices for people with disabilities,” but also engaging HR managers in developing such programs, rather than participating in a more passive fashion. • Also hiring HR professionals based on their capacity & knowledge in workplace inclusion issues (i.e., utilizing HR management as diversity leadership teams on the issue of disability—a function largely appropriate and typical of HR departments)
  36. 36. MANAGEMENT TRAINING - EQUIPPING SUPERVISORS WITH THE TOOLS TO SUPPORT INCLUSIVE WORK ENVIRONMENTS • Supervisor uncertainty often has its roots in inadequate training. Therefore, training is crucial. • Research has shown that even periodic two-hour workshops for supervisors can result in greater self-disclosure & stronger communication between supervisor and employee. The additional skills that supervisors report help them deal with the complexities of job modification, workplace integration & re-integration. • Training can lead to positive outcomes in reducing bias amongst supervisors, creating greater efficiency & success in providing accommodations, facilitating strong communicative practices. More specifically, employers should be sure that supervisors are trained in:  legal requirements of procedures for reasonable accommodations;  disability etiquette and awareness;  overcoming stereotypes and other attitudinal barriers and  targeted hiring, retention and return-to-work strategies.
  37. 37. BEYOND COMPLIANCE: A BUSINESS CASE FOR INCLUSIVE HIRING AND RETENTION • This implicates a broader thematic shift in the recent literature on inclusion: “shifting the paradigm from complying with legal mandates to the business case for diversity” • Previous research shows that supervisors who work in inclusive workplaces tend to rate the performance of PWD as equal to that of their peers without disabilities, and recent literature only adds to the growing body of evidence that employers themselves benefit from inclusive practices, with benefits including “the ability to retain quality employees, increased company profitability, and an avoidance of costs associated with hiring and training a new employee” • The literature also demonstrates that “providing accommodations in order to retain employees is shown to improve organizational culture and climate”. • Accommodations or productivity enhancers, are helpful for all employees, not just employees with disabilities. Organizations committed to inclusive practices can expand utilization of accommodations to create a culture of responsiveness. • Supervisors who work with PWD are less likely to lack the requisite knowledge or feel the same levels of discomfort about managing PWD.
  38. 38. LEARNING ACTIVITY • Group Discussion: By referring to the 4 Pillars, describe how you can develop a Disability Inclusion Framework at your organization.
  39. 39. CONCLUSION • Summary of key points • Learning “take-ways” • Questions • Don’t deprive your workplace from the potential and talent of PWD.
  40. 40. DR CHARLES COTTER’S CONTACT DETAILS AND SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE • Mobile number: +2784 562 9446 • Email address: charlescotterhrdconsultant@gmail.com • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMtDro7N29l3KTat-rtRuGQ • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlescotter/ and https://www.linkedin.com/company/dr-charles-cotter-and-associates • Twitter: @Charles_Cotter • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlesACotter/ • SlideShare: www.slideshare.net/CharlesCotter

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