Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building Vibrant, Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible Communities!

 

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Best Practices for Identifying People with Disabilities within an Organization

By Mike Thompson, 9 August, 2023

Identifying People with Disabilities (PWD) within a community requires a thoughtful and respectful approach to ensure inclusivity and privacy. Here's a best practices method:

  1. Voluntary Self-Disclosure: Encourage PWD to voluntarily disclose their disability status. Create a safe and non-judgmental environment where community members feel comfortable sharing this information.
  2. Confidentiality: Assure community members that any disclosure will be kept confidential and only shared with relevant parties on a need-to-know basis.
  3. Diverse Communication: Offer multiple channels for self-disclosure, such as in-person meetings, electronic forms, or a designated point of contact. Ensure accessibility for various communication preferences.
  4. Accessibility: Make sure your communication and disclosure methods are accessible to those with visual, auditory, or cognitive disabilities.
  5. Educational Initiatives: Conduct disability awareness campaigns and training to promote understanding and encourage self-identification.  These Initiatives should also be used to assess current quality of Accessibility and Inclusion for People with Disabilities.
  6. Accessibility Requests: Provide a clear process for community members to request accessibility, indicating that such requests are welcomed and will be addressed appropriately.
  7. Inclusive Surveys: Include questions about disabilities in community surveys. This can help gauge the number of PWD within the community and identify areas for improvement.
  8. Anonymous Feedback: Allow community members to provide anonymous feedback or suggestions for improving accessibility and inclusion.
  9. Engagement Groups: Establish Community Resource Groups (CRGs) or affinity groups for PWD, where members can connect and share experiences.
  10. Regular Reviews: Periodically review and update your methods for identifying PWD to ensure they remain respectful and effective.
  11. Consultation: Involve PWD in the process of developing identification methods to ensure they are meaningful and considerate of what is needed to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible community.
  12. Leadership Support: Ensure that community leadership promotes a culture of inclusivity, making it clear that diversity, including disability, is valued and supported.

Remember, the primary goal is to create an environment where individuals feel comfortable self-identifying and where barriers are removed with understanding and respect. It's important to continually refine your approach based on feedback and evolving best practices.

 

Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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