Keri McWilliams

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Why hidden disabilities are just as important

Monday 3rd December marks the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) and we at Texthelp are firm believers in increasing awareness and encouraging organisations to embrace the many benefits that inclusive hiring can bring. 

Channel 4 has just released a short film about the power of purple - which showcases the positives, not the negative assumptions and preconceptions to having a disability within the workplace. This is a great example of how organisations can embrace a diverse workforce.

Employees from BT, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyd’s of London, Nationwide Building Society, Reed Smith, Scope and Virgin Media, as well as Channel 4 appear in the film and give an insight into the extra worries they have to cope with. We’ve linked to it below in case you missed it. 

This video highlights the diversity in our society, and what this diversity can bring to today's workplace. 

And for us, we like to highlight hidden disabilities, as sometimes this can be forgotten as they are not visible, and may not be considered. For example, no less than 10% of the population experience some form of dyslexia. In several professional sectors – like healthcare, blue light services, the creative arts and engineering – that figure climbs higher still. 

Stigma of disclosure

Neurodiverse individuals can struggle in silence or fear the stigma of ‘disclosure’ to their peers – with stress, lowered productivity and absenteeism. And that’s an unwelcome cost burden that no organisation wants to shoulder.
Success stems from realising your workforce’s full potential, in all its diversity (physical or hidden). And that means making each worker feel empowered, motivated and engaged.  Today, that’s why organisations in the public and private sector are turning to support to give staff the individualised support they need. Investing in assistive technology in particular, is great for staff – and it’s great for business too. 

Three quarters of organisations providing their staff with support technology report improved productivity. What’s more, support technology in the workplace means a 50% drop in sickness absence. So providing the right tools to help people maximise their potential is a win/win for employers and staff alike.

Let’s imagine a digital workplace where support technology is openly available to help everyone, letting them access and process information in the way that suits them. And let’s imagine a workplace where every employee is supported and understood, free from the fear of being labelled ‘different’ from their peers.


Want to know more about how today’s tech can boost neurodiversity in your own workplace? Visit our dedicated resource area for hints, tips and useful information


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