The Inclusion of Accessibility
DEI After 5 — Season 1- Episode 9
Early in the pandemic, though most organizations initially curtailed their efforts, DEI practitioners immediately saw the value of work-from-home (WFH) as a potential win for the disability community. Many organizations that had claimed they could not make accommodations for people to work from home were forced to find a way very quickly.
Why was this a potential win?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of the most significant barriers for individuals with disabilities has been transportation. With the option of working from home, that barrier has been removed.
So what else can companies do to ensure that individuals with disabilities are at the forefront of diversity conversations?
In this conversation, Sheri Byrne- Haber shares a few ‘truth bombs’ on ways practitioners can expand their DEI efforts to ensure accessibility is part of inclusion and not a costly afterthought.
I first met Sheri when I hosted TED Circles. My unique ‘spin’ on the monthly conversations was that we would watch the selected TED Talk through the lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Sheri signed up for a few of those conversations. Through those monthly chats, I learned more about accessibility and how I could continue growing as a practitioner and advocate for those with disabilities.
Here are a few moments that stood out for me in this conversation -
- UK-based nonprofit, Valuable 500 has the mission to increase discussions about disability inclusion at the board and corporate levels. One of their latest reports found that 94% of organizations did not include disability in their DEI initiatives.
- 70% of all disabilities are invisible
- Three categories of disability- permanent, temporary, situational
- Color blindness is the #1 disability in tech
Truth Bomb #1
“If you design things to be accessible from the outset and include disability inclusion in your procurement processes, nobody has to ask for accommodations because it’s built to be inclusive from the outset.”
Truth Bomb #2
“Disabilities are barriers that have been created that block people with disabilities from fully participating. “
Listen to the entire conversation and be prepared to take lots of notes!