Around the world, 1 in 6 people, or 1.3 billion people, are thought to have a serious disability. To be able to understand people with disabilities and be able to cope with the hand fate has dealt them, the UN in 1992 declared the 3rd December of every year International Day of Persons with Disabilities. International Persons with Disabilities Day aims to increase awareness of the plight of people with disabilities in all facets of political, social, economic, and cultural life while advocating their rights and well-being at all levels of society and development. Every year, the WHO joins the UN in recognizing this day to emphasize the significance of protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, ensuring that they can live free from discrimination in all facets of their lives and participating completely, equally, and effectively in society.
People with disabilities have long been the subjects of abuse and discrimination throughout history. From being viewed as cursed by God and shunned as outcasts to participating in the Olympic games, we have really come a long way but whether have we done enough to call ourselves an inclusive society is still debatable. The theme of the 2022 International Persons with Disabilities day is "Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.” This theme is set to remind people of the growing number of people with disabilities and the lack of technology to cater to their needs.
The Importance of Pwds Day
Disability is a natural and essential aspect of being human. It is the outcome of the combination of numerous environmental and individual factors with health disorders like dementia, blindness, and spinal cord injury. According to estimates, 16% of people worldwide are currently seriously disabled. This number is rising as a result of a rise in noncommunicable diseases, problems with mental health, and an increase in the average life expectancy.
A wide range of characteristics, including sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, color, ethnicity, and economic condition, affect the experiences of people with disabilities in life as well as their health needs. People with impairments typically have more limitations in daily functioning than non-disabled people, as well as a shorter lifespan. Here’s why it os important to celebrate these brave individuals:
- It's the law, not just a day.
In order for businesses and governments to abide by the law, the Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to outline the rights of individuals with disabilities and the design requirements that must be met. Anyone would benefit from familiarity with the ADA because it is quite clear about the requirements that must be met.
- It increases the understanding of those with disabilities.
In our culture, people with impairments occasionally feel invisible. People rarely notice them as they pass past them throughout their regular activities. Today, make an effort to look them in the eye, smile, and make yourself accessible to help if they seem to be experiencing trouble.
- Improves communication and awareness
The prized parking spot in front of the pharmacy, the sloped curbs at intersections with the textured mats in place so people with vision impairments can feel the curb end, the buttons to open doors automatically, even the elevators on the Subway — all of these features are there to make a difficult life for a person with disabilities a little bit easier. Today, take note of these accommodations, and then take note of how few there are.
Celebrating International PwD day in the workplace
Amidst all the talk about being supportive of persons with disabilities, the natural next question would be to ask how best you can celebrate international persons with disabilities day at the office. We have listed a few ways you can engage in spreading awareness about the day and people with disabilities in your workplace.
1. Organize training on the needs of people with disabilities.
The greatest method to make a real change in your workplace is to conduct a disability training session. Anyone can experience a disability, so it's crucial to make sure every employee is aware of its significance in order to foster an inclusive workplace. This will result in better customer service as your employees will be able to recognize when a client might have special needs and render their services in a suitable fashion. Another advantage of having training sessions for your employees on PwDs awareness can reduce the risk of legal implications or unfair treatment by learning about the Equality Act 2010.
2. Encourage Open Communication:
Persons with disabilities live their lives with their conditions every day, so training your employees in the challenges they face on a daily basis will help them understand their fellow coworkers and provide them well-being support through open communication. This will also reduce unconscious bias and misinformation as your employees will feel empowered to speak freely about their conditions.
3. Improve inclusion and accessibility
Disabled workers may not perform at their best on the job due to a number of frequent obstacles. It's critical to accommodate employees of all abilities and take into account how a disabled person can be impacted by your workplace. This includes providing wheelchair ramps, screen readers, braille signage, and accessible restrooms. On this International Day of Disabled Persons, make your workplace accessible to all team members.
4. Addressing neurodiversity
Neurodiversity is one of the most prevalent invisible disabilities, thus it's crucial to acknowledge it at work. These folks have a distinct perspective on the world because of the way their brains are wired in comparison to their able-bodied peers. Speakers with expertise in neurodiversity frequently appear at business gatherings to promote the field's many benefits and eliminate stereotypes. Natural differences in the human brain that affect cognitive and intellectual functions are referred to as neurodiversity.
Examples of neurodiversity include:
- Tourette’s Syndrome
5. Invite a professional to speak about persons with disabilities
Hire a speaker for World Disability Day who will raise awareness of disabilities and whose life experiences will connect with your staff. These motivating individuals overcome obstacles both physical and mental to succeed in their respective fields, making for incredibly compelling speeches at business gatherings.
6. Become an advocate for PwDs
There are myriad organizations supporting persons with disabilities in many ways. Promote these organizations through your social media or just by visiting them. You may choose to host fundraising campaigns or help these organizations out by volunteering with them. A generous donation might also go a long way. In addition, if you see a PwD mistreated or being bullied, stand up for them, your act of kindness and support is just as important when it comes to making a change.
7. Contribute your time
By taking time out of your day to volunteer for nonprofit organizations supporting persons with disabilities, you are putting to practice what you believe in. As we said earlier, there are many organizations that are doing good for the community but they all require a little assistance. By encouraging your employees to volunteer for persons with disabilities, they will get a taste of what their life is like and develop a more empathetic outlook toward their fellow community members.
Chezuba is an online volunteering platform that connects corporations with numerous nonprofit organizations from around the world working for a variety of causes and the betterment of society. Through chezuba’s employee volunteering platform, your employees can volunteer for any organization of their liking and be a part of the change. Out of the many nonprofits that are working toward empowering persons with disabilities, some notable nonprofits Chezuba has partnered with are:
- Special Friends
- The Blended Pledge Inc
- The Blind Relief Association
- Global Aid Missions
- Sunrise Learning Foundation
- Building Inclusive Society Tanzania Organization
Schedule a free demo with Chezuba today to find out how your employees can virtually volunteer for nonprofit organizations supporting people with disabilities and many more causes. Chezubas gamified model is cutting edge and will engage your employees in a meaningful way.