Today marks the 12th year of UK Disability Month.
As an employer of individuals with non-visible disabilities, we were thrilled to see one of the themes this year being Hidden Impairments.
Because of the negativity often associated with impairments, many who can pass as non-disabled frequently choose not to identify themselves in this way, despite this causing them increased difficulties day to day.
‘But you don’t look disabled…’
Is an all-too-common response individuals face when trying to address issues facing them in the workplace.
The common misconception that “real” disability can be seen and that anyone who is not visibly impaired is not really disabled is preventing thousands from accessing the reasonable adjustments they require.
At Osborne Thomas we advise clients how to create an environment where people feel able to identify their disability either at work or during a recruitment process.
Some of our recommendations are:
- Ensuring any communications around disabilities includes the full spectrum – visible or hidden
- Having ramps, lifts, rest rooms and car park spaces within close range of offices & meetings
- Allowing meetings, presentations and meet and greets to have both standing and seated options freely available
- Providing written materials at meetings for those that struggle with memory
- Flexible working policies – to allow for greater breaks and rest periods, medical appointments if needed
Many disabled people – visibly disabled or otherwise – require no adjustments to do their job and the average cost of adjustments is often small.
The biggest step we can all take is to ensure our staff know they work in an inclusive environment where they can be open about their disability, visible or not.
Do reach out to us if you think we can advise and help.