What is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was announced in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. According to the UN, the observance of the day “aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.”
This year’s UN theme is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
Currently, 1 in 4 American adults has a disability, making those with disabilities the largest minority in America. Hiring differently-abled people is a tactically savvy business choice. In fact, one landmark study found that a 14% higher retention rate among the employees hired with disabilities over the overall group in the same roles. They also reported a 50% increase in self-disclosures and strengthened workforce diversity.
Self-disclosures reflect a positive workplace culture where employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, which is a sentiment anyone can get behind.
Here are some ideas for how you can observe the day all month and become more inclusive of people with disabilities:
Collaborate with your employee resource group for disabled employees if you have one
Having the direct input of employees with disabilities is vital in any organization that wishes to truly practice disability inclusion. If you do not have an employee resource group, IDPD is the perfect day to launch one!
If that’s not possible, consider having an existing employee resource group host a virtual event like a lunch and learn to educate your organization on this year’s initiatives and determine how you can contribute.
Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to disability inclusion online and in the office
Now is a great time to start working on a Disability Action Inclusion Plan and co-design the new program with your disabled employees who have disclosed and feel comfortable. IDPD is a great opportunity to demonstrate your company’s commitment to the inclusion of disabled people by launching an organization-wide policy, plan, or initiative that firmly places disability inclusion on your wider D&I agenda.
Support employees with disabilities and encourage them to share their experiences
Storytelling is a powerful force that connects us all. Disabled employees may or may not feel comfortable sharing their experiences and stories. Organizations can share stories in a number of ways–on social media, at a virtual event, or even at a lunch and learn.
Show your organization’s commitment through leadership
Senior leadership and executives should use IDPD as a day to promote their organizations’ commitment to diversity and inclusion and to reinforce that disability inclusion is on the business agenda.
This might be through a Q&A with senior leadership, or through a panel on the intersection of disability and broader diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Encourage employees to learn about disability and inclusion
Understanding and education can be the biggest opportunity to remove unintentional barriers for people with disabilities. IDPD can be a great opportunity to organize training–be it internal or external–where employees can learn about disability and the benefits of disability inclusion in the workplace.
LiveVox is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, ability, gender identity, or Veteran status. We consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.
We believe strongly in the value of diverse perspectives and work hard to foster a culture that’s open and inclusive. If you have a special need or require additional accommodations, please let us know. We’re always looking for smart, talented people with diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences to join our team. Visit our careers page for more information on open positions.