Creating a Welcoming Environment for People With Disabilities at Every Step

Providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities is not the same as creating a truly welcoming experience. The welcome should extend to employees and customers and requires moving beyond accommodations.
— By Donna Chan

One of the reasons the terminology changed from “disabled” to “people with disabilities” is that labeling leads to grouping, and grouping leads to people thinking in terms of single needs, uniform perspectives, and equal challenges. It is easy to fall into labeling. Countries like the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada have passed laws to require reasonable accommodation, and these laws have been important to creating awareness of accommodation. Unfortunately, they also led to some labeling and grouping.

There are employers who continue to shy away from hiring people with disabilities because they insist accommodations are too expensive for people in this category, whether employees or customers. What they are ...

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