Share employee stories in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, October, and celebrate disabled team members all year long.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness (NDEA) Month, making this month an ideal time to celebrate the contributions of disabled team members. Of course, every month is the best month to share stories of how your culture and its policies support team members with non-traditional abilities.
Stories of how these team members experience work, inclusion and belonging at your company are critical elements of your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion communications. Additionally, they give candidates and employees clarity about the accommodations and benefits available to them, and examples of ways they may find support.
Whether you’re communicating inclusion for employees with differences in physical, mental, social abilities, it’s important to create content that provides their perspectives. So, here are some ideas and examples of employee stories for National Disability Awareness Month, which is also content to be shared all year long.
Create compilations of stories of disabled team members across your organization
Stories Incorporated helped Labcorp capture stories from team members with disabilities all over the company, and launched this compilation of stories for International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3rd). Employees with a variety of non-traditional abilities and health needs share exactly how they have experienced belonging, inclusion and support. Their stories serve as critical DEI content across Labcorp’s channels throughout the year.
Show the accommodations possible for team members who are physically disabled
At Dell Technologies, the True Ability Employee Resource Group (ERG) not only provides support and community for differently-abled team members. It also consults the Dell Benefits team of accommodations employees need, and provides employees information about the accommodation benefits available to them. To show employees and candidates the accommodations Dell Technologies makes for its remote employees, Stories Incorporated helped Dell capture photos that bring those accommodations to life.
Show how your company and culture support mental health
A disability at work is defined as any condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do or participate in certain activities. This includes mental conditions both permanent, such as anxiety disorders, or temporary conditions, such as some forms of depression.
In their compilation video, Trane Technologies uses team member voices from all around the company to show how strongly their culture values mental health for its team members.
Include disabled groups when telling the stories of your ERGs
When Akamai wanted to tell the overall story of its inclusion and ERGs, they made sure to include their ERGs for disabled employees. And, the these team members’ specific stories are content that Akamai can use as stand-alone content, too.
Show how your company cares for team members battling serious illnesses
How your company supports employees with chronic and acute illnesses is another important aspect of disability employment awareness. This topic has the potential to apply to every single employee, and so stories of your company’s support when illness strikes is key culture content. Jill of Labcorp’s story of battling cancer communicates that her manager and workplace were empathetic and accommodating, and also willing to keep her on as an employee during treatment and on her terms.
Share stories from team members with non-obvious conditions
Not all conditions that impact team members lives are visible. Thus, sharing stories of employees who are supported and thriving at work while living with a non-obvious condition lets candidates know that they’ll be supported, too.
In this standalone story, Julian, a design specialist at Merck, shares his story of his interests, passions, and narcolepsy. His condition is shown as just one aspect of him, and shows how he is supported in bringing his whole self to work.
Give neurodivergent employees opportunities to share their stories
When neurodivergent team members and employees on the autism spectrum are invited to share their stories of life at work, the content yields multiple benefits. Neurodivergent candidates and employees can learn information about inclusion and support at the company from voices they relate to. All audiences can gain insight about what inclusion and belonging looks like holistically. And, the team members sharing their stories are provided with important recognition, too.
Unlike the other videos shared, the following example didn’t get help from the Stories team, but it’s a good one nonetheless. Amy Johnson, a product designer at Allstate, candidly shares her story of her autism diagnosis, how it impacts her life, and how her neurodivergency is supported and embraced at work.
Ready to start capturing important stories of inclusion?
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