Fostering inclusivity within business enables organizations to tap employees whose potential has up to now been underutilized. Those with disabilities are one group in particular that, with appropriate training, can develop skills that unlock new stores of productivity.
But how do organizations approach job skills training for adults with disabilities?
In our work helping organizations with inclusive workforce development, that’s a question we come across often. If you’re attempting to solve a similar challenge, here's a getting-started guide from us at The Simmons Advantage.
Should you feel you need further clarity and support, we are available to assist.
Identify the disabilities you need to accommodate
Much depends on the disabilities in question, the roles within your organization, and your foundational strategies. You can take the approach of closely analyzing the disabilities currently present within your workforce. Alternatively, you can look at the individual functions within your organization and identify possible strategies for making each more inclusive to employees with particular disabilities.
Disabilities you may need to take into account include:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Blindness or impaired vision
- Deafness or impaired hearing
- Intellectual disabilities
- Mental health conditions
- Physical disabilities
Develop a workforce development plan
With an awareness of the disabilities, your business can accommodate to access more of your human capital, you can proceed with drafting a workforce development strategy. Ensure that your talent development plan equips employees to fulfill roles in which their disability is not a hindrance to their performance or is at least mitigated.
It is of equal importance to equip your people to be nimble and adaptive. As your industry and structures change, you will respond more ably with versatile employees.
Identify soft skills
Soft skills are the interpersonal competencies your employees use to relate to colleagues and customers and to perform their job. They involve communication skills, problem-solving, attention to detail, and conflict management.
The ones most relevant to you are those that increase your employees’ capabilities within your organization. For example, employees with certain mental health conditions can benefit from learning stress management practices. Those whose disability affects their social skills can receive training to help them navigate social situations. Or, they can learn analytical skills for roles in which there is less heavy collaboration.
Identify hard skills
Hard skills typically require more investment and time from both the organization and employees. It also takes longer for employees to develop working competence than it does for soft skills. While soft skills tend to apply across roles and functions, hard skills are narrower and more technical.
In most cases, they’ll be along the same verticals as those for which you hired your employees. But it can be feasible to retrain for adjacent or altogether new roles that would enable greater impact within the organization.
Learning hard skills makes it practical for employees to move across departments or execute higher-order responsibilities within their division.
When adapting this form of job skills training to adults with disabilities, among the top priorities is making the training accessible to individuals who may have, for example, learning disabilities. Or those that, because of visual and hearing impairments, require instruction delivered through specially adapted approaches, techniques, and technology.
Empower your employees to drive growth with job skills training for adults with disabilities
The challenges of establishing your workforce are those that The Simmons Advantage exists to solve. Twenty years of transforming school communities give us a strong pedigree in solving adaptive, human-centric challenges, which we now apply to solving business challenges for our clients.
Reach out to us today for support with developing a more inclusive and capable workforce.