The month of June’2021 is my 10th SCI anniversary. Looking back at my professional journey over the last 17 years, I’ve spent more years working from a wheelchair than without.
Through my peer networks I have come across many people who lost their livelihood after they acquired a disability and continue to face challenges in finding job opportunities.
My journey as a PWD has not been a bed of roses either. I’ve had my share of personal and professional challenges, e.x. unconscious bias during job interviews, inaccessibility of venues/ offices and so on.
Cheers to my family, the companies I worked with, and the many stakeholders I’ve interacted from media to business partners for your inclusive attitude 🙂
At a recent internal event – The Amazon devices Summit- I got an opportunity to give a TED talk and I chose to speak about inclusion in the workplace. This is an edited version of the same talk that I re-recorded at home.
With this video I’m hoping to generate MORE AWARENESS about the world of people with disabilities, BUST MYTHS such as hiring someone with a disability is not a liability, and make you all think about being MORE INCLUSIVE.
Inclusion is not just about completing a training or attending a workshop. Inclusion is about how you think and what you do every single day.
Have you ever found yourself questioning or judging a person’s ability, just because of the way they look or spoke? Do you have preconceived notions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do?
It’s not the disability that limits what we can do. It is the inaccessible environment and the non-inclusive attitude of people that become barriers.
We usually think of disability, culture or language as a differentiator. Let’s turn this around and imagine if you are that team member who is different from the rest. What if there is an after-hours team gathering at a CLUB but you don’t enjoy drinking or dancing. What if you prefer flexible working hours because you are the primary caretaker of an elderly or a toddler at home.
**Would you like to be excluded from opportunities that will help you succeed and grow at work?
Are you ‘inclusive’ in your personal life as well as your workplace?
Tell me about thoughts on the topic through the comments section below.
P.S. if you’re wondering what is SCI: It stands for a Spinal Cord Injury. My injury is due to a fracture in the neck i.e. at C5 level. For ease of understanding, it is paralysis below the shoulders. You can read more here.
It is super exciting to see that my employer, Amazon, shared my video on their global LinkedIn page 🙂