Conversation About Disability Awareness
This week we had a conversation with Abbie S. Fink and Nico Meyering to discuss Disability Awareness within the PR and professional realm. Both had interesting takes on different ways that organizations can be more inclusive, while making the environment for people with disabilities easily accessible and comfortable.
Abbie Fink is the Vice President and general manager of HMA Public Relations in Arizona. As a non-disabled person, she spoke to her own experiences about creating an inclusive and comfortable work environment. She was adamant that there have been efforts for better inclusivity, but the corporate world has a long way to go. There needs to be a willingness to be uncomfortable and ask difficult questions, so we can better learn how to appropriately include people with disabilities in an equitable environment. Employers can implement training courses that are little to no cost in order for the workplace to be accessible for people with differing disabilities. She brought up a motto that people within the company use: “Nothing About Us Without Us”. Including people with disabilities in the conversation is pivotal to making change.
Nico Meyering is a disability advocate, civic leader, and Tedx speaker. He spoke about his experiences being someone who has a disability and how environments within the corporate realm could be more accessible to people with disabilities. He would like to see people with different disabilities in every level of an organization from the boardroom to the mail room. We also need to make sure to speak with multi-marginalized people with disabilities, and give them the opportunity to speak for themselves, in order for their stories to be heard, so that there is a comfortable, accessible environment in work spaces. People with disabilities have the same set of skills as a person without a disability, but they are not always given the same opportunities as them. There is an array of different disabilities, cultures, and experiences. Employers should give them the same opportunities and voice, so that there is an accessible, comfortable environment for all people of different backgrounds.
This blog post was written by Jaelyn Jennings, General Body Member