Diversity in the workplace has become increasingly important as companies strive to create inclusive and respectful environments for all employees. One aspect of diversity that is often overlooked is the contribution of individuals with special abilities.
People with Down syndrome, autism, or who have experienced a traumatic brain injury have special talents to offer the world – and employers. For example, they have strong abilities to complete repetitive tasks with incredible detail and precision. These talents can be applied incredibly well to important tasks within the logistics and manufacturing industries, among others.
Did you know? Only 18 percent of people with special abilities are employed. That means that people with special abilities are underemployed by approximately 80 percent.
The inclusion of individuals with special abilities in the workforce has numerous benefits for both the employee and the employer. At Gabi’s, we see these special abilities put to work every day.
Individuals with special abilities bring unique perspectives, skills, and experiences to the workplace, and these can enhance creativity, innovation, and problem-solving abilities. And their presence in the workplace can also help to break down barriers and stereotypes, increasing understanding and acceptance of everyone’s differences.
For individuals with special abilities, the opportunity to work provides a sense of purpose, increases self-esteem, and improves financial stability. It also helps to promote greater independence and helps them find purposeful work. Many individuals with special abilities have the skills and qualifications to excel in a variety of roles–particularly tasks related to logistics and manufacturing–but are often faced with barriers to employment, such as a lack of accommodations or negative attitudes from employers.
Employers who prioritize radical inclusivity through diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices are more likely to attract and retain top talent from a wider pool of applicants. In fact, some of our Gabi’s team members have moved on to work at other companies, including Chick-fil-A and a car dealership. Moreover, as a result of including special abilities employees, there is typically a significant and positive increase in morale across all employee groups.
To effectively include individuals with special abilities in the workforce, employers should make reasonable accommodations and provide training and support for both the employee and their colleagues. When Gabi’s PALS goes onsite to a company location, we provide an onsite manager and other supports for our team members to help them be the best they can be. This may include modifications to physical spaces, flexible scheduling, or the use of assistive technology when needed.
In conclusion, including individuals with special abilities in the workforce is not only the right thing to do, but it also provides numerous benefits for both the employee and the employer. A diverse workforce that values and respects differences leads to a more inclusive, productive, and successful workplace. Employers who prioritize diversity and inclusion will be well-positioned to take advantage of the many benefits of a diverse workforce and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society.
Learn more about how Gabi’s PALS works with logistics and manufacturing companies to pack, label, and ship orders – from our warehouse or onsite at their facilities – for a range of small-, mid-, and large-sized companies.
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