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Raising Disability Employment Awareness At Work

Compiled by: Ngao Mwavuna

  1. Gather ideas from your company’s disability-focused employee resource group (ERG). If your company doesn’t have an employee resource group, contact in[email protected] to start one. An ERG can help in identifying resources, disability training gaps and get referrals.
  2. Collaborate with an Organization of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) e.g. ANDY and hold a Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) event in October.
  3. Hold a mentoring day quarterly a year. Promote career development through various hands-on activities. Serve as a mentor or get involved in job shadowing.
  4. Organize monthly or bi-monthly ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions. Invite employees to share stories and exchange ideas pertaining to disability employment issues and the role of neuro – typical peers to build an inclusive culture at work.
  5. Provide volunteering opportunities to your staff with DPOs. Volunteering can foster qualities like leadership development and team management. Holding mock interviews or simply helping someone with a disability prepare for their career can create a positive experience for everyone.
  6. Promoting Disability Employment Awareness on social media is one of the best ways to engage people beyond the physical confines of the workplace. Create posts that showcase the activities happening within your organization, share relevant information about the Disability Employment Awareness, and remember to use trending hash tags to increase the reach of your posts.
  7. Put up a display (preferably in one of the most frequented areas in the office, such as the reception desk) to rally support behind disability inclusion in the workplace.
  8. Organize Kenyan Sign Language training classes and braille lessons for your employees.
  9. Organize a campuses disability recruitment drive. Meeting college students with disabilities is a great way to understand their challenges and aspirations firsthand.
  10. Last but not the least, remind everyone that October is the Disability Employment Awareness Month and it comes once in a year but the need to sustain inclusive hiring efforts won’t. Disability hiring is a complex process but it’s worth the effort because of the many benefits it brings to organizations: a creative and highly focused workforce, more innovation, less gossip, low turnover, etc.

Ngao Mwavuna is the Project Coordinator for the  Innovation to Inclusion Project at ANDY 

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