Spirit of Inclusion for Employers
Collaborating to Provide Full Inclusion for Individuals with Disabilities
A Touch of Understanding, Inc. (ATOU) provides the “Spirit of Inclusion” workshop for employees of various business and governmental agencies. By helping participants confidently and comfortably interact with those who have disabilities, ATOU strives to promote employment of individuals with disabilities, make workplaces more inclusive for existing employees with disabilities and assist companies/governmental agencies to successfully address the needs of their clients/customers who have disabilities.
Participation in these workshops will help demystify the challenges brought on by disabilities and educate participants regarding ways to work with and employ individuals with disabilities, to benefit from their abilities and commitment and to increase their market share of this sector of our population.
Lively, Energetic Disability-Awareness Experience
The 3-4 hour workshop for up to 50 participants has complementary sections: disability etiquette/reasonable accommodations section, activity-based section and a speaker section.
A. Disability Etiquette/Reasonable Accommodations:
1. Discussion of stereotypes, myths and misconceptions surrounding disabilities
2. Discussion of different types of disabilities (i.e. blindness, deafness, paralysis, missing extremities, cognitive disorders, mental illness, and mobility impairments)
3. Introduction to reasonable accommodations and technology used in the workplace
4. Disability etiquette demonstrations including:
a. Greeting and handshake protocols
b. Guide Dog and Service Dog protocols
c. White cane and sighted guide protocols
d. Wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs protocols
e. American Sign Language and interpreter protocols
B. Activity Section:
Brief introductory discussion followed by a 4-minute video. Participants will then be divided into activity groups to participate in the following activity stations:
1. Mobility Issues: (a.) wheelchairs and (b.) braces and artificial limbs
2. Vision Issues: (a.) white mobility canes and (b.) adaptive devices for the blind
3. Invisible Disabilities: (a.) learning disabilities and (b.) autism
C. Speaker Section:
Depending on available time, speakers who have disabilities share their experience and insight with participants and answer questions that might be inappropriate in other settings.
At the close of the workshop, participants come together to reflect on their experiences and discuss how they might apply their new insight and perspectives.
The space needed for the workshop includes sufficient room for up to 50 participants to be seated during the Disability Etiquette and Reasonable Accommodations Section and the Speaker Section and space for the six activity stations including the use of 17 wheelchairs.
Investing in an Inclusive Community
The cost for one workshop will be discussed based on the time and number of participants. The fee paid to ATOU does not include the cost of the venue or any refreshments. If the distance from the ATOU office in Granite Bay exceeds 60 miles, additional travel expenses may be added.
Benefits to Participating Businesses/Corporations
- There are over 61 million disabled individuals in the United States.
- 78 million baby-boomers will make this number double within 15 years.
- At least 1/3 of our returning troops will have disabilities.
- 2 out of 4 consumers prefer to buy from businesses with sound diversity initiatives.
- Companies can benefit from the skills, experience and market value of this diverse population.
- A company’s clearly defined disability policy creates higher retention which means less turnover costs.
- Employees demonstrate increased understanding of disabled consumers, patients, employees, students and clients.
This is also a valuable experience for other adult groups, such as faith groups, service clubs, teachers, administrators, and key volunteers in schools.