Why Training is Necessary to Reduce Disability Bias (Ableism) in the Workplace

Understanding Ableism and How it Can Lead to Discrimination

employee in wheelchair disability bias trainingIndividuals with disabilities are discriminated against in the Workplace in their access to jobs, promotions, pay raises, or transfers within the organization. Part of the problem fueling disability bias is ableism. Ableism is the idea that disability is less desirable. When people are associated with a disability, a weakness, visible abnormality, pain, or another similar sign, ableism kicks in and can lead to discrimination. The blind, deaf, and people with disabilities often face discrimination by those with disability biases. It’s a type of exclusion where a person is marginalized because of an attribute they can’t change, such as a disability.

While we have come to understand disabilities as something we physically see, it is also essential to be mindful that disabilities are often invisible to the naked eye, and some examples include autism, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), high sensitivity to light, texture, and other categories that impact the senses. Despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being enacted in 1990, people with disabilities continue to experience discrimination and marginalization that limit their access to the same opportunities afforded to other citizens.

Disability Bias Training

Practical training conducted in a group setting or online self-study allows employees to learn helpful information to check their biases better. Consider this, people with disabilities make up 12% of the global population, but 60% of the world’s disabled population is unemployed or economically inactive. This is due to widespread discrimination against people with disabilities- which means that their capabilities are limited by prejudice. For example, people who have a disability may have trouble accessing buildings, transportation systems, workplaces, schools, and medical facilities. We have come to understand that implicit bias is a type of social inequality that affects individuals without their knowledge or consent. This bias is based on attitudes that are often hidden from awareness and unintentional since most people do not intend on treating others differently. These biases can be challenging to identify, but they exist in many forms, such as stereotypes about persons with disabilities being less competent than non-disabled people or attitudes about what it means to have a certain kind of disability.

employee with prosthetic leg working with managersWhile it might be unpleasant to consider, here is a jarring fact: people with disabilities are underrepresented in the media, television, and movies because able-bodied people are uncomfortable looking at them. Why? Because people with disabilities are often stereotyped as being unable to have an everyday life. This is a form of ableism. The bias people have toward people with disabilities can be seen in many ways. For example, there are only 3% of characters on the Internet with physical disabilities. Most employees would be unaware of these statistics, but disability bias training can help enable employees to understand this data and better mediate potential biases in the Workplace.

We know that accessibility is one of the most important things for people who have a disability or chronic illness that impairs their mobility or limits their stamina. Inaccessible buildings and routes that don’t go over curbs can make it difficult for people to get around without difficulty or frustration. Unfortunately, the social stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities are not doing us any favors in the world of employment. In fact, it is making disabled people much less likely to be employed. This can be seen in several statistics that show that people with disabilities are three times more likely to be unemployed than their non-disabled counterparts. The same study also found that people with disabilities are often paid less for the same job as their non-disabled counterparts.

You can help and advocate for people with disabilities by voicing concerns regarding the layout of the Workplace, access to the building, and double-checking your assumptions regarding qualified candidates. But, first, we must understand what causes these implicit biases in order to change them. One way is by educating and training ourselves on the causes of these biases and to work on removing them at their roots.

For general information, visit our website today; www.compliancetraininggroup.com 

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