We’ve heard the facts – people with disabilities around the world have dramatically lower employment rates than non disabled people. It’s not because disabled people aren’t smart enough or qualified enough, but because we still face a wide range of barriers as a community; from lack of access to bias and systemic discrimination.
For many *yet-to-be-enlightened* beings, disabled people are still mistakenly believed to be less reliable, expensive, or a liability. In case you didn’t know… these are myths. Not true.
In fact, if people with disabilities were equitably represented in the workforce, organizations would not only see a reduction in turn-over costs, but our voices and contributions would also result in more accessible products and services. Simply put, inclusion of people with disabilities results in more inclusive companies overall.
Living through these times has taught us that employers can (and must) be flexible and open-minded with respect to how, where and when work happens. This new found creativity to approaching work makes for more inviting and supportive opportunities for everyone, including people with disabilities.
Five years into building AccessNow, I understand that the best way to educate people on what’s possible is to be what’s possible; basically we learn by doing. Less talk, more action. That is why as AccessNow grows it has been incredibly important to me to ensure that we are also practicing what we preach, and that includes having a diverse team of people with and without disabilities.
Although we don’t make many hires, and remain a small team here at AccessNow, to date we have hired 14 people with lived experience of disability for critical roles core to the development of our platform. In 2021 our new goal is to double that number.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is a day to highlight and celebrate the importance of digital accessibility around the world, including the development of accessible tech. If we are doing it right, disabled people are not just the consumers of accessible products and experiences, but also the drivers and creators of it – because in my opinion, there’s no one better for the job.
Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
Now go hire an amazing disabled person.
P.S. We’re hiring!