Workbridge is the largest New Zealand-owned employment service for people with a disability or health condition.
Raising awareness of disability or a particular condition amongst employees can be helpful in increasing understanding, acceptance and effective working practices.
Some things to consider:
- General awareness training is provided by a number of organisations such as CCS Disability Action.
- Specific disability organisations can provide information and/or disability awareness training about a particular condition.
- In some cases where a disability affects the way a person behaves, disability awareness training for colleagues can be a particularly good idea. For example, people with autism or Aspergers Syndrome may have difficulties with communication and social interaction, which could result in others misunderstanding them.
- Ensure that other employees feel confident in communicating with a person with a hearing or speech impairment. Provide disability communication training and ask the person what assistance they need to help them communicate with colleagues.
- Some disabilities and conditions are caused by or exacerbated by work. Employers can help prevent disability or worsening conditions by promoting a healthy workplace and raising awareness about common conditions. Proactive management, particularly in the areas of mental health and musculoskeletal conditions, will be more effective than attempting to deal with difficulties after they occur.