At the outset of this series of columns, the goal was to open a dialogue that offers a new perspective on the disability narrative and highlights its developing value within the architecture of business growth. In the third, and final column of this series, the focus here is to introduce the multifaceted nature of Disability Culture and begin to respond to the idea that this line of thinking will play a critical role throughout the future of business practice. As businesses move away from the pandemic era and are shifting to new priorities, various touch points continue to evolve from diversity, equity, and inclusion to the very mechanics of the future of work. Companies are continuing to search for a model that provides not only greater inclusion but fosters a healthier work culture and encourages a competitive advantage. This is perhaps the time to reflect and reiterate the fact that building a Disability Confident organization has a reach far greater than just the disability community, but a responsibility around the value of human variability as a key to unraveling many of the challenges that await an uncertain economic reality.

In past Mindset Matters columns, we’ve touched upon the idea that disability is the very essence of diversity spanning across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, different disability types, and more. It is also the only minority anyone can join at any time, making this community inclusive by its very nature. This level of intersectionality provides a marvelous template that companies can use to not only think about diversity and inclusion with all its intricacies but offers an aperture to consider the status of human variability and why this type of recognition is critical for corporate maturation in today’s economic climate. Yet, to excavate this idea even further, an important element to be acknowledged is the significance of Disability Culture as a thread that can symbolize a new standard for business in the 21st Century.

The very expression of Disability Culture is both intersectional and fractured. From a business perspective, this opens new possibilities to cultivate a language to deal with tensions and provide a model for more effective conflict resolution. It is these instruments that offer a path to common ground and shared values stemming from new ways of thinking to create novel ideas and imagine the potential for new realities. Having greater insight into the code of Disability Culture offers businesses a wellspring of possibility that will characterize an overarching business strategy providing the space for new ideas, a mode to engage in healthy debate, and the fuel for innovation across talent management, product design, and workplace culture.

Read the full article about disability culture in the workplace by Jonathan Kaufman at Forbes.