Inclusion Strategy #3: Build an Inclusive Team
People without disabilities may be uncomfortable interacting with individuals with disabilities for the first time. Their awkwardness can cause them to behave in ways they would otherwise not do. Below are some teambuilding activities that are a good way to minimize apprehension and create a welcoming environment.
As your business works toward being fully inclusive, consider what strategies are in place to bridge the gap between those with and without disabilities. Following are some potential strategies to incorporate.
- Focus on abilities. We all have talents and gifts to share with others. Taking the time to explore individual talents will help participants to see a person's abilities and not their disabilities.
- Identify limitations. Everyone has things that they do exceptionally well and others with which they struggle.
- Ask questions. It is often said that human beings are afraid of the unknown. Encourage participants to ask each other questions about their day-to-day lives.
- Define disabilities. Encourage participants to share information on their disability and the challenges they face. Invite professionals to talk with the group about common disabilities.
- Communication etiquette. Offer training classes that teach communication techniques such as people-first language and the appropriate ways to interact with people with disabilities.
- Be a helpmate for the day. Pair up people with disabilities with those without a disability. Have them assist each other in various activities. As the two groups spend more time with one another, they will begin to realize that they have more in common than not.