Workplace Inclusion


This week is National AccessAbility Week!

In Canada, we celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) every year starting on the last Sunday in May. The week raises awareness about community and workplace inclusion of people with disabilities in Canada. In 2020, National AccessAbility Week takes place from Sunday, May 31st until Saturday, June 6th.

Workplace Inclusion

National AccessAbility Week is about promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in work and community life. A key part of this inclusion is the willingness of employers to hire workers with disabilities. Workplace inclusion allows workers with disabilities, like all other workers, to use their skills, be part of communities of colleagues, and support themselves.

Inclusive Interviews

Workplaces interested in hiring candidates with disabilities can partner with organizations that connect workplaces with qualified job candidates who have disabilities. HR personnel and other staff responsible for hiring should also be prepared to interview job candidates who disclose that they have disabilities. This preparation is important, since many candidates choose not to disclose before interviews.

Interviews can be opportunities for employers to learn about how a person with a disability can perform job tasks and what accommodations they need. As a result, interviewers should know what they should and should not ask about when interviewing a candidate with a disability. For instance, they can ask how a candidate would perform the tasks involved in the job. However, they should not ask personal questions about the candidate’s disability, such as their diagnosis or how long they have been disabled.

Accommodations

Once they hire workers with disabilities, workplaces must provide any accommodations their new employees need. For instance, some accommodations may include:

  • Scheduling accommodations, such as shifts at certain times or short but frequent breaks
  • Information in accessible formats or with communication supports
  • Task-swapping with colleagues
  • Structural changes, such as automatic doors or accessible washrooms

Workplaces must also provide accommodations for current employees who become disabled. They must also accommodate employees who return to work after a leave of absence. There is national, provincial, and local funding available to cover the cost of renovations or equipment.

Finally, employers and colleagues should make sure workers with disabilities are included in any team building or social events. For instance, colleagues can choose places and activities that are accessible for a worker with a disability. To make sure they do so, they could:

  • involve the worker in the planning stages
  • invite the worker to be part of a workplace social committee
  • Ask the worker to recommend accessible locations or things to do

Workplace inclusion gives employers access to a pool of talented workers and gives people with disabilities the chance to make a difference in the world around them.




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Accessibility = Inclusion and Belonging for Kids with Physical Disabilities


TORONTO: Kids with physical disabilities are often left out because a building isn’t accessible, there is no accessible transportation or a program won’t accommodate someone in a wheelchair.

Easter Seals Ontario has been an advocate for improving accessibility for children with disabilities in the community for 98 years.

Accessibility means more than just ramps, elevators and electric door openers. It is also being able to join a group and play together, enabling a child with a disability to be included and have a sense of belonging.

Having an accessible building or offering an accessible program sends a very positive message to child with a physical disability, says Jennifer Green, an Easter Seals parent. It says ‘Yes, you can’ instead of ‘No, you can’t.’ At Easter Seals camp, when asked ‘Who wants to …..?’ my son, Cameron, always raises his hand and shouts ‘Yah.’ He always knows he will be able to participate in anything being offered at camp whether it’s sailing, crafts, cooking or swimming.

We have heard from the kids we serve that the feeling of being different and excluded leads to tremendous stress and anxiety. Easter Seals’ services are so important because they enable kids to get out into the community or attend Easter Seals camp and experience a sense of belonging, says Kevin Collins, President and CEO, Easter Seals Ontario. Last summer, a mother had tears in her eyes when she picked up her teenage daughter from Easter Seals camp and learned that she had made her very first friend. It’s not easy for kids with disabilities to make friends or have a social life. Through the support of our donors, Easter Seals helps kids with physical disabilities get essential mobility and accessibility equipment and offers opportunities for inclusion and participation at our fully accessible camps.

March kicks off Easter Seals annual campaign to raise funds and bring awareness to the challenges and needs of kids with physical disabilities.

Initiatives include

The Easter Seals annual giving campaign containing the traditional seals arrives in homes across the province.
The launch of Easter Seals Ontario’s new Services website, https//services.easterseals.org/, featuring information on our programs and services as well as resources for parents and caregivers.
Easter Seals segments air on the CKWS Morning Show in South Eastern Ontario throughout the month
The Easter Seals Paper Egg Campaign takes place March 20 to April 12 in retailers across Ontario, including Sobeys, Foodland, FreshCo, Avondale, Highland Farms, Giant Tiger and Booster Juice, where shoppers can lend their support by purchasing a $2 paper egg.
Annual Easter Seals Telethons air on Sunday, March 22 in Sudbury and on Sunday, March 29 in Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto and Windsor-Essex. For more information, visit http://www.EasterSeals.org.

Easter Seals Ontario has been a champion for children and youth with physical disabilities from all ethnic and religious backgrounds for the past 98 years. Programs include funding for essential mobility and accessibility equipment, fully accessible summer camp opportunities at its two properties, Camp Merrywood and Camp Woodeden, public awareness and information resources. Easter Seals is only able to provide its programs and services with the generous support of its donors and sponsors. For more information, visit http://www.EasterSeals.org.

Original at https://www.newkerala.com/news/2020/47564.htm




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University Launches New Six-Year Disability Inclusion Action Plan


24 September 2019
Supporting people with disability to succeed

The University of Sydney has reached an important milestone in inclusion and access for people with disability, with today’s launch of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2019-24 during Disability Inclusion Week.

The Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2019-24 strengthens our commitment to protect staff, students and visitors with disability from discrimination and support all members of our community to succeed at the University.

The new six-year plan aligns with our core values of inclusion and diversity, and community expectations that people with disability are included in all areas of public life.

The University of Sydney is recognised as one of Australia’s higher education leaders in disability inclusion, with our previous Disability Action Plan (2013-18) being recognised as an example of best practice and used as a model for the development of the NSW Government’s own plan.

At today’s launch the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, welcomed the new plan the fourth of its kind. Several esteemed speakers joined him for the launch, including Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett, and Ms Carly Findlay, an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist who regularly writes about disability issues.

Dr Spence called for a united effort to implement the plan’s objectives.

“If we are to be a university in which the brightest researchers and the most promising students can thrive and realise their full potential, we must ensure that we provide a learning and working environment which is inclusive and accessible to all our students, staff and visitors,” Dr Spence said.

“I welcome the University’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan 201924 and urge the whole University community to commit to working towards the achievement of its objectives.”

” My disability services officer provided me with empathy and incredible support. Because of my new academic plan, I feel that I can get the most out of my studies while not being completely overwhelmed. ” International student

The plan builds on the University’s proud track record of progress and achievements in disability inclusion across almost two decades, and supports our aspirations to become an employer and higher education provider of choice.

Thousands of students and staff with disability are actively using the University’s support services. One international student, who asked to remain anonymous, said his “disability services officer provided me with empathy and incredible support. Because of my new academic plan, I feel that I can get the most out of my studies while not being completely overwhelmed.”

Zoe Stawyskyj, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours in Physics) and is now a casual teacher at the University, said she would have had to study part time without the assistance she received from Disability Services.

Zoe, who has a chronic illness, said the new plan’s promotion of the legal requirements that support people with disability were critical for her, because she can “draw on that information to be empowered and know my rights”.

The new plan reflects the experience of staff and students with disability. They contributed substantially to the plan’s creation during an extensive consultation and development process. There are a number of initiatives that will be implemented during the life of the plan, including the following.
Implement accessible wayfinding and navigation on our campuses, including technology-driven solutions.
Ensure our curriculum demonstrates application of the principles of Universal Design for Learning.
Enhance strategic employment of people with disability, including the creation of an employment fund to support hiring managers in recruiting people with a disability.

Find out more about the University’s 2019-24 Disability Inclusion Action Plan at https://sydney.edu.au/about-us/vision-and-values/diversity/disability-action-plan.html.

Original at https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/09/24/university-of-sydney-launches-disability-action-plan.html




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National AccessAbility Week: Workplace Inclusion


This week is National AccessAbility Week!

In Canada, we celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) every year starting on the last Sunday in May. The week raises awareness about accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces. In 2019, National Accessibility Week takes place from Sunday, May 26th until Saturday, June 1st.

Workplace Inclusion

National AccessAbility Week is about promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in work and community life. A key part of this inclusion is the willingness of employers to hire workers with disabilities. Workplace inclusion allows workers with disabilities, like all other workers, to use their skills, be part of communities of colleagues, and support themselves.

Inclusive Interviews

Workplaces interested in hiring candidates with disabilities can partner with organizations that connect workplaces with qualified job candidates who have disabilities. HR personnel and other staff responsible for hiring should also be prepared to interview job candidates who disclose that they have disabilities. This preparation is important, since many candidates choose not to disclose before interviews.

Interviews can be opportunities for employers to learn about how a person with a disability can perform job tasks and what accommodations they need. As a result, interviewers should know what they should and should not ask about when interviewing a candidate with a disability. For instance, they can ask how a candidate would perform the tasks involved in the job. However, they should not ask personal questions about the candidate’s disability, such as their diagnosis or how long they have been disabled.

Accommodations

Once they hire workers with disabilities, workplaces must provide any accommodations their new employees need. For instance, some accommodations may include:

  • Scheduling accommodations, such as shifts at certain times or short but frequent breaks
  • Information in accessible formats or with communication supports
  • Task-swapping with colleagues
  • Structural changes, such as automatic doors or accessible washrooms

Workplaces must also provide accommodations for current employees who become disabled. They must also accommodate employees who return to work after a leave of absence. There is national, provincial, and local funding available to cover the cost of renovations or equipment.

Finally, employers and colleagues should make sure workers with disabilities are included in any team building or social events. For instance, colleagues can choose places and activities that are accessible for a worker with a disability. To make sure they do so, they could:

  • Involve the worker in the planning stages
  • Invite the worker to be part of a workplace social committee
  • Ask the worker to recommend accessible locations or things to do

Workplace inclusion gives employers access to a pool of talented workers and gives people with disabilities the chance to make a difference in the world around them.



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National AccessAbility Week: Inclusion Benefits Everyone


This week is National AccessAbility Week!

In Canada, we celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) every year starting on the last Sunday in May. The week raises awareness about accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces. In 2019, National Accessibility Week takes place from Sunday, May 26th until Saturday, June 1st.

National AccessAbility Week: Inclusion Benefits Everyone

National AccessAbility Week is about recognizing that inclusion benefits everyone. This week, we celebrate the inclusion of people with disabilities in work and community. This inclusion is important not only for people with disabilities, but for every person in every community across the country.

The Curb Cut Effect

The curb cut effect happens when something is created to help one group of the population and ends up benefiting many more people. Its name comes from the concept of curb cuts, which allow people using mobility devices to cross streets. Curb cuts turned out to be helpful for many other people, including people:

  • With children in strollers
  • Wheeling carts or luggage
  • Using bicycles, skateboards, or roller blades

Many more social developments created to benefit people with disabilities also improve quality of life for non-disabled people. For instance, closed captioning displays the dialogue on a TV program or movie so that viewers who are Deaf can follow what is going on as they watch. Many other people also benefit from captions, including people trying to watch TV in noisy environments and newcomers learning English. Similarly, the first audio books were produced in the 1930s for readers who are blind. Today, sighted readers also enjoy audio books while they do other tasks, such as driving, exercising, housework, or simply relaxing.

The Business Case for Inclusion

The curb cut effect highlights the idea that an accessible world is a better place for all people. When people with disabilities are included as employees and as customers, they become fully involved in the world around them. They use their talents for the good of their workplaces, neighbourhoods, and other groups they involve themselves in. They find common ground with people who value them for their gifts.

At the same time, when more people with disabilities are working, they gain purchasing power and the economy improves. When businesses make sure that their spaces and staff are welcoming to customers with disabilities, their customer bases expand. Businesses and community spaces that are visibly committed to accessibility become known as groups or organizations that care about the well-being of their residents, clientele, and staff.

People may think of inclusion as important only to individuals with disabilities. However, the curb cut effect shows us that inclusion benefits everyone.



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Raising Awareness About Accessibility and Inclusion of People with Disabilities


This week is National AccessAbility Week!

In Canada, we celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) every year starting on the last Sunday in May. The week raises awareness about accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces. In 2019, National Accessibility Week takes place from Sunday, May 26th until Saturday, June 1st.

National AccessAbility Week

During NAAW, we recognize the ways in which people with disabilities are involved in their communities. For instance, some ways community members with disabilities participate in the world around them are:

  • Working
  • Volunteering
  • Raising families and supporting loved ones
  • Keeping up with current events, locally and internationally
  • Being involved with local organizations (neighbourhood, school, worship, local government)
  • Participating in leisure activities (sports, arts, entertainment)

Removing Accessibility Barriers

Citizens with disabilities are sometimes prevented from full involvement in their communities because of the accessibility barriers they encounter. Barriers limit the things people with disabilities can do, the places they can go, or the ways other community members interact with them. For instance, accessibility barriers can be:

  • Physical: features of buildings or spaces that limit people’s access
    • For example: no automatic doors or wide pathways
  • Communicational: information in formats people cannot access
  • Technological: technology that relies on senses or movements that not everyone can use or make
    • For example: website features that only work with a mouse
  • Organizational: policies, practices, or procedures that put people with disabilities at a disadvantage
    • For example: no-return policy (disadvantage for people using assistive devices when fitting rooms are too small)
  • Attitudinal: people lacking understanding about disability, or believing stereotypes
    • For example: belief that people with disabilities cannot work, socialize, raise families

National AccessAbility Week gives us the chance to honour people committed to removing these barriers. These activists may have disabilities, or they may be non-disabled allies who understand what their fellow community members are capable of. When we break down barriers, we make sure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as their fellow community members.

Happy National AccessAbility Week to all our readers!



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