Some people mistake equality for treating people the same, but actually when it comes to disability it is more about treating the individual differently, in order for them to be supported in the workplace. For example an individual who has a disability may receive extra reviews unlike those without disabilities.
However, when it comes to communication, disabled people rightfully want to be treated the same as everyone else. An example of this might be an employee who has a hearing impairment, why would we raise our voice and sound patronising? In actual fact we need to speak just like we would to everyone else.
When there is fear in a team that they can’t communicate or are struggling to communicate with colleagues who have disabilities, this is when teams can become disjointed and not as productive as they should be.
A key point for effective communication for everyone generally is to be clear, concise, show empathy, listen and have understanding. These key points would benefit teams not just about disability.
What are the benefits of good communication for people with disabilities?
There are many advantages of having key communication skills in the workplace. Employees would feel more understood and listened too, so personality clashes and disagreements would happen less. The team would also be more effective and clear of their goals and deadlines for the work that needs to be achieved.
Employees with disabilities will feel that they can be honest about the way they feel, maybe in regards to whether they feel supported or not.
Are there services that can help with effective communication?
There are some services that can support with effective communication for example disability at work coaching as well as dedicated disability mediation and all important disability awareness training. These services can provide the necessary tools for communication to be effective. By investing in your teams and employees you are actually giving your business the best chance of succeeding. Employees are more likely to feel an increase in confidence, will take less time off due to stress, are more likely to work at their maximum potential and would be able to strategize. The team would also be more efficient in supporting their colleagues who have disabilities.
There is an I in team
As much as effective communication is about teamwork it is also about how individuals feel. By having teams working more effectively together will give the employee with a disability a feeling of true independence and a sense of empowerment. Your workforce will ultimately be more diverse and inclusive.
Funding to assist with support for disabled employees
There is a pot of funding called Access to Work, which is a discretionary grant by the Government that enables disabled people at work. The fund can cover such things as technology, training and on the job coaching.
As much as support for disabled employees is about equipment and effective communication it’s also about making the disabled employee feel comfortable in their environment.
For more information about Centre for Resolution’s disability services please visit their website.
For more information about Centre for Resolution please click the link. They also have a Facebook Group called Everything Disability that you may wish to join, where best practice and knowledge is shared about disability.
Telephone: 01905 21717