In a recent webinar, Texthelp’s CEO, Martin McKay, and Inclusion Specialist, Rebecca, were joined by guests from Ernst & Young (EY). Together, they explored the power of disability inclusion. Both Texthelp and EY were founded out of a true passion to make the world a more equitable place. During the session all speakers shared advice to help other organisations make an impact too.
Below, we highlight key insights shared by:
“Social equity should be the very bedrock of all organisations that are seeking to really make that difference for their people, for their clients, or their customers, but also for the communities that they serve.”
Every single one of us has a unique life story that’s personal to us. Despite what our backgrounds, needs and experiences look like, we all deserve to be fully understood and supported.
As organisations, Frank reminded us that we have an opportunity to make the working world more equitable and inclusive. This means removing obstacles to accessing resources and opportunities, so that everyone can thrive. As well as making sure that all voices have a seat at the table.
Disability inclusion has an important role;
Frank highlighted that, “In the case of disability, without purposeful inclusion, there actually is functional exclusion. So when accessibility is lacking, people with disabilities lose out on the opportunities to participate fully, productively and effectively in the working world.”
When we look at the statistics, we can see that this is true;
“If we look at dyslexia alone, dyslexic people are five times more likely to be unemployed. Dyslexic thinkers make up 40% of the unemployment population. These are intelligent people who just feel misunderstood. Businesses aren't attracting and retaining these really bright, really ambitious success-driven people…And the greatest barrier, I think, is these people not being included in DEI strategies.”, said Martin.
As organisations, we must be inclusive of the talents and perspectives of all people across all dimensions of diversity, including disabilities and cognitive differences.
Martin explained, “If you look at DEI strategies, the top two things are always gender and [race]. And they are big problems to solve. It can take multiple years to change the makeup of the population of an employment base. But including [disabled and] neurodivergent employees is something that can be addressed much more quickly.”
Despite common myths that disability inclusion is complicated or expensive, we know that actually, small changes can lead to a big impact for disability and neurodiversity inclusion.
During the webinar, which is available to watch on demand, our panel also shared statistics that can help you to build the business case for disability inclusion in your organisation.
EY and Texthelp strive to foster a company culture where everyone feels that they truly can belong, where their uniqueness is celebrated and where they can do their best work.
Reiterating the importance of disability inclusion, Frank said;
To ensure that everybody can fully participate at work and beyond, we must commit to make our spaces, our processes and our technologies more accessible by people of all sensory, motor, cognitive and neurological abilities.
Echoing this, Martin explained;
“Most people in the workplace think that disclosing their neurodiversity is a career limiting move. They've probably got bad memories for how they were treated when they were disruptive in the classroom when they were 10 years old. And even if they're brave enough to bring it up, they often don't know how. So we need to make it easier in the workplace, or even unnecessary, to disclose these conditions and just make support available to everyone.”
When it comes to looking at a disability inclusion strategy, EY have identified 3 key pillars:
During the webinar EY shares how they’ve brought their strategy to life through these 3 pillars.
At 12 years of age, Martin McKay made it his mission to help create a world where everyone can live with independence. His passion came after seeing his Father lose his independence following a severe stroke. And he believed technology held the answer. In 1996, Martin founded Texthelp. Today, our technology largely supports people with hidden disabilities and cognitive differences.
EY was co-founded by Arthur Young over 100 years ago. Arthur had trained as a lawyer, but after losing much of his eyesight and becoming deaf, he could no longer practise courtroom law. He turned to the emerging profession of Accounting, which offered him the opportunities to use his skills in new ways. His disability sparked his innovative mind and began a life of entrepreneurial endeavour. Today, EYs purpose is to ‘Build a better working world’. Inclusion is at the heart of their DNA.