International Day of People With Disability 2022 – December 3

International Day of People With Disability 2022

International Day of People With Disability fell on the 3rd of December, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to reflect on the day, and what it represents for us at St Jude’s, as well as in society more broadly.

International Day of People With Disability (IDPwD) is held on the 3rd of December around the world. It’s a United Nations observed day aimed at increasing public awareness of disability issues, understanding and acceptance, and to celebrate the achievements of people with disability.

There are currently over 4 million Australians living with disability, the vast majority of which have family members and loved ones, so disability affects millions of people in the community. IDPwD therefore presents a great opportunity to consider the challenges people with disability face, and to make the necessary changes to conditions in the hope for better disability inclusion.

What Is The Theme For International Day of People With Disability 2022?

Each year, IDPwD has a specific theme. The 2021 theme was ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-covid- world’.

This year’s theme is ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’. It will focus on three key areas, including:

  1. Innovation for disability inclusive development in employment.
    This dialogue will discuss the linkages between employment, knowledge and skills required to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological landscape to all, and how assistive technologies can increase accessibility to employment and be mainstreamed in the workplace.
  2. Innovation for disability inclusive development in reducing inequality.
    This dialogue will discuss innovations, practical tools and good practices to reduce inequalities in both public and private sectors, which are disability inclusive and interested in promoting diversity in the workplace.
  3. Innovation for disability inclusive development – sport as an exemplar case:
    This is a sector where all of these aspects coalesce; sport as a good practice example and a site of innovation, employment and equity.

How You Can Celebrate International Day of People With Disability Australia In the Workplace

Although IDPWD is a day of advocacy, inclusivity for people with disability is a all year-round effort, in which all workplaces should actively participate in. Here are a few things workplaces can action to promote greater inclusion of people with disability:

Host A Training Session

A great way to initiate meaningful change in your workplace is to host a disability training session. Anyone can be affected by a disability, so it is important to ensure all employees understand the importance of accessibility to help foster a healthy, inclusive workplace culture. There are five major benefits of disability awareness training, including:

  1. Improved Customer Service: Employees who recognise different forms of disability will better serve your customers, who may have various forms of disability.
  2. Learn the Legal Requirements: Reduce the risk of legal implications or unfair treatment by learning about the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
  3. Encourage Open Communication: People with disability live with their conditions every day, so training can supply wellbeing support through open communication.
  4. Transform Perceptions: Reduce personal biases and misinformation through an informative training session.
  5. Validate Staff With Disability: A training session may show employees with disability that their feelings, experiences, and struggles in daily life are valid and respected by all staff.

Recognise Neurodiversity

As one of the most common, yet invisible disabilities, it is vital to recognise neurodiversity in your workplace. People who are neurodivergent uniquely view the world, as their brains are wired differently from their able-bodied counterparts. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to neurodivergence as it can often result in struggles to ‘fit in’ at a social level, but it has zero impact on a person’s value in both their personal and professional lives. Recognising neurodiversity can help to break down those stigmas and help bring about positive changes within the workplace.

What is neurodiversity?

Examples of neurodiversity include:

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

Each condition brings with it its own unique set of challenges, so it’s important that employees understand the differences between them.

Improve Accessibility & Inclusion

In the workplace, several common hurdles can prevent employees with disability from performing at their best. From wheelchair ramps to screen readers, and braille signage to accessible toilets, it is important to cater to employees of all abilities and consider how your workplace may impact a person with disability. Creating an accessible environment for everyone in your team is incredibly important.

Examples of accessibility in the workplace include:

  • Wheelchair ramps/lifts
  • Quiet rooms for noise sensitivity
  • Braille signage
  • Adaptive desks & chairs
  • Investing in digital accessibility tools

Hire a speaker

Consider hiring a disability awareness speaker whose personal experiences will resonate with your employees. These inspirational people have overcome physical and mental hurdles to thrive in their respective sectors, making for a truly empowering speech at corporate events, or simply on the work premises.

It’s incumbent on all of us to ensure there are no unnecessary barriers to people with disability achieving the same success in life as anybody else. That’s why days such as IDPwD are so important in breaking down stigmas and making not just workplaces more inclusive, but all public and private spaces.

For more information on what you can do to improve your workplace culture, speak to any of the friendly staff at St Jude’s disability support services. If we all do just a little bit more, we can make life better for everybody.