Inclusion, not segregation
Women with disabilities are experts in knowing what their access and support needs are in the workforce. The principle ‘nothing about us, without us’ stems from the premise that policies, procedures, rules, regulations, etc., should not be created for any population without explicit input from the very population that these rules and guidelines will be impacting. This means that when a workplace creates policies or procedures for people with disabilities in their employment, people with disabilities must be consulted and included in the design process of these procedures to ensure accessibility. Without this, there is no equitable voice of women or people with disabilities in the workforce. This can lead to problems or misunderstandings that can negatively impact a woman with disabilities’ capacity. Avoiding this in your workplace will make employment more accessible for women with disabilities. The best way to avoid these problems is to include women and people with disabilities throughout all phases of the creation process, right through to the implementation stage. Doesn’t it make sense to include the people in the conversation, especially when it will affect them the most?
This is what the WWDA LEAD Project is all about. Lateral displays of leadership, Co-Design, valuing lived experience and how that can help a workplace become more accessible, inclusion – not segregation. If you have read the previous WWDA LEAD articles on the principles of leadership, then you will be aware that those principles were developed in a co-design concept alongside other women with disabilities and what leadership looks like to our community. Challenging traditional views of leadership is step one in changing how we lead in our business.