Due to the stereotypes and discrimination surrounding people with disabilities in our community, the biggest roadblock is other people. Therefore, all of society needs to recognize the value that those with disabilities bring to the table, and not just those who have been impacted. And since there is an overall lack of understanding and acceptance, raising awareness is necessary.
Acknowledging the Misconceptions
There are many misconceptions surrounding disabilities. For example, some assume that all disabilities are visible, but that couldn’t be more incorrect. When someone has a disability, it means that a person has a mental or physical impairment that can restrict the ability to participate in everyday activities. Never make assumptions based on those internalized stereotypes or misconceptions.
It is not uncommon for those with disabilities to experience discrimination in some way throughout their lives. Believe it or not, but discrimination can present itself within education, health care facilities, employment and even the justice system.
It is hard for people to understand how important raising awareness is until they realize how many people there are with disabilities. Around 49 million Americans and one billion people in the world have a disability in some regard.
Through disability awareness, the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding those with disabilities can be brought to the forefront. When these are gone, attitudes and behaviors become more positive and impactful.
Starting with Yourself
Digging deeper to create a better understanding is a powerful way to raise awareness. It is simply not enough to only recognize that discrimination against people with disabilities is wrong. There must be a greater awareness within each person to distinguish between good and poor practices.
As an employer and active member of society, acknowledging that everyone is unique is the first step. As much as each person is different, there are similarities too. Everyone wants to feel accepted and valued, which is why Weaver started the campaign “It’s More Than a Job.” By interviewing clients and employees, Weaver showed the benefits of having an inclusive environment.
Awareness creates empathy; so, when you try to understand one another, it will stop that stereotyping mindset and create an inclusive and safe environment. By self-educating, you can find ways to create change and spread the word to others.
Creating acceptance is a vital component to raising awareness. To help create a better future for those with disabilities, raise awareness on platforms that can reach many people, such as social media. You can start by following Weaver Industries on Facebook and LinkedIn to share posts with friends and family.
Many employers today question how hiring individuals with disabilities will affect their business. Weaver Industries helps answer any questions between employers and potential employees with disabilities.
The success of your business is greatly influenced by productivity, customer satisfaction, reputation and an employee-centered culture. These elements are crucial for fostering a supportive work environment, improving employee engagement and boosting client loyalty.
The month of March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. We devoted it to creating more inclusion with groups throughout Weaver. Inclusion is “creating a place where everyone feels valued and can contribute.” Weaver focused on creating an atmosphere where people with disabilities could celebrate inclusion by wearing orange and participating in activities.