“Festival of an inclusive workplace” – perhaps still a utopia in our working environment, but increasingly common around us!

“Festival of an inclusive workplace” – perhaps still a utopia in our working environment, but increasingly common around us!

  • 26.10.2023

Yesterday and today, (October 25th -26th, 2023) we are participating in a conference organized by a company that deals with issues of inclusion and adaptation of workplaces – “Festival of Workplace Inclusion 2023. https://events.texthelp.com/festival-of -workplace-inclusion-2023/home organized by Texthelp https://www.texthelp.com.

There are more and more companies or associations like https://neurodiversityinbusiness.org/ndresourcehub/ or https://abilitynet.org.uk/ dedicated to work on improving the quality of work and inclusive education and employment in the EU and around the world. The organization of work is increasingly complex. New technologies and new experiences with the pandemic, COVID-19, have brought us new views on the “workplace”.

We, in the DIP, as well as in our inclusive social enterprise company which is only in the “start-up” phase, “DIP lab d.o.o.” promote this social model approach to persons with disabilities, an inclusive approach, not only in education but also in the workplace, in spare time, anywhere, since the foundation.

In contrast to the “medical model” that still prevails in our environment, this model of the PWD approach emphasizes the person and their capabilities, so the environment adapts to the person, and not the person to the environment. Although Croatia has opted for this “social model” in its legal acts, we are far from living it in our daily lives. Even persons with disabilities themselves still have this outdated approach to themselves and others, simply because they have been socialized that way, and because the environment may understand that language. The social model or approach to PWDs in surrounding countries has brought great progress towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community in which they live and enabled more jobs for PWDs.

Inclusive workplaces do not only apply to persons with disabilities, they apply to the entire work organization and all workers. A work climate in which workers feel psychologically safe and supported leads to greater efficiency, a sense of belonging to the organization and better results in general.

Consider what the climate and work organization is like in your company, is it inclusive, do the workers feel supported and do they feel safe? Are they doing their best, are they satisfied, and what did you do to make it so? How do you receive new workers, how do you test them, do you have a way to discover the capabilities the new workers have, are you ready to adapt your workplaces and get more from workers, just because you can, even if it takes more effort on your part?

For example, see: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/zašto-je-inkluzivno-radno-okruženje-klujno-za-inovacije

The fact that each person learns, remembers, feels or works differently supports the idea of inclusiveness as an approach for all workers. Universal design is not only a principle that refers to “reasonable adaptation of the workplace” for persons with disabilities but also to the entire work organization and all employees.

That’s why we regularly monitor the trends in the organization of work, the employment of persons with disabilities, as well as those who are not, but are different, whether they are “neurodiverse” or not.

Here’s what Texthelp, a company which deals with assistive technologies and workplace adaptations, says about what an inclusive workplace is:

“What is an inclusive workplace? Inclusion in the workplace is about creating a work environment where every employee feels valued. It’s about creating spaces where we can acknowledge differences and celebrate how those differences contribute to culture and business results.

Celebrating diversity and its role in the organizational structure is at the heart of an inclusive workplace. Organizations with an inclusive culture do not claim that everyone enjoys a level playing field. Instead, they acknowledge differences and systematic differentiation. They take responsibility to offer equal opportunities to all.” https://www.texthelp.com/resources/workplace-inclusion-guide/.


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