“Accessibility is an important part of the workplace and workforce and often one that sees a high unemployment number of those who are willing and wanting to work. In 2020, 17.9 percent of persons with disability were employed which is down from 19.3 percent in 2019. The total number of people with disabilities aged 16-64 in the United States is 33 million and of those only 18.5 million are employed. Additionally the National Autism Indicators Report by Drexel University, found that fewer than one in six autistic adults are full-time employees.”
Increasing accessibility in the workplace through accommodations, recruiting practices, and general work procedures is a relatively low cost endeavor that yields tremendous benefits. However, it is not enough to merely change practices; in order to yield the benefits of increased accessibility a company’s culture must support its neurodiverse employees.
“The majority of people with disabilities are keeping the status a secret with only 39% disclosing it to their manager and 21% to HR. When disabilities are invisible it is up to the employee to decide when, whether, and with whom to share their disability status. Employees have noted that they still fear when disclosing that they will endure teasing, changes in relationships, be perceived as lazy or less capable and their status affecting their career as reasons to not disclose.”
Adding accessibility to your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy and practices is critical to your company’s success. However, to accomplish this, employees with disabilities must feel comfortable and supported by their company’s culture. Ideascape can help you navigate this change by working with you to evaluate your current position and to develop an integrated DEI strategy that will allow you to meet your goals.
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