“Redesigning the Employment Narrative”, by Kyann Flint

From RAISE: For Entire Post, Go Here…

The dawn of the disability rights movement brought forth the entrance of the disability community onto the scene of the rigid modern-day workforce. This work structure was not built with disability in mind. Workers with disabilities had to conform to this structure and ask for accommodations in hopes that they would be accepted rather than just work alongside their non-disabled peers. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the enforcement of Section 504, and the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act empowered the disability community to ask for accommodations; but at the same time, this legislation did not encourage accessibility to be built into the current structure. Therefore, making accommodations look like extra expenses rather than what they really are, an investment for an equal opportunity, and even possibly a benefit for all.

When the global pandemic of 2020 took over the world stage, employers reacted by reshaping the structure of employment. For years, the disability community had advocated for this work-from-home structure, but until organizations were driven by the health benefit of society as a whole, the request for this accommodation did not seem viable. We now see that working from home is indeed viable for those who desire this option.

Many organizations like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have realized that there are economic and environmental benefits of embracing a work-from-home structure. This once “so-called” accommodation represents how designing structures to be accessible to the disability community is beneficial to more people than just those who are disabled.

Disability drives innovation.

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