It’s time to change. We need to get businesses to recognize the power of disability. The reason people with disabilities find it hard to get work is that most employers don’t believe they can do the job. They presume that people with disabilities will be less productive than non-disabled employees. Calculate how much less productive, they say, and you can figure out the cost of including people with disabilities.
This is nonsense. The research is in, from people such as Rich Donovan (see Issue 94 of Abilities), and it shows that disability pays. If you take the time to figure out how to get the most out of employees with disabilities, guess what? You have just figured out how to get the most out of all your employees. This comes from treating people with disabilities as regular folk, each with a particular array of strengths and weaknesses. And if you take the time to figure out how to design products or services that will work for customers with disabilities, guess what? You have just figured out how to make your products and services better for all your customers.
It’s time for companies to start reconnecting with all their employees. It’s time for them to start rethinking products and services with everyone in mind. It’s time for us all to start recognizing the power of disability. It’s been there all along, just waiting to be acknowledged.