People with disabilities represent a significant portion of our population. Though there are employment laws in place to protect this demographic this still remains a highly discriminated against group. By increasing our disability awareness we gain more knowledge on how to increase diversity in the workplace, empathize, correct faux pas, suspend judgment, and properly communicate with people with disabilities.
Course Objectives:This one day workshop will help you:
- Properly interact with people with disabilities
- Identify and overcome barriers in the workplace
- Make the workplace more accessible for employees and clients
- Use respectful, appropriate, acceptable language in any circumstance
- Correct someone behaving in an inappropriate manner
LESSON 1: Course Overview
- You will spend the first part of the day getting to know participants and discussing what will take place during the course. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives, and to complete a pre-assignment to begin considering what disability means to them.
LESSON 2: Disability Awareness Overview
- To start, participants will learn what the term “disabilities” mean. The problems with stereotyping and judging other people, and why we need to stay out of judgement will also be explored.
LESSON 3: Misconceptions and Realities
- Students will be given statements on common misconceptions about people with disabilities, and asked to share their thoughts. The realities of those statements will be reviewed.
LESSON 4: Dissecting Labels
- This session will discuss why labels are inappropriate and how they can make people feel. We will also provide participants with some ground rules for being respectful and using appropriate language, as well as how to be practical when discussing a disability. Several lists of inappropriate terms and more appropriate language will be provided.
LESSON 5: Accessibility
- Accessibility refers to making your workplace, and your business, available to people. Although laws differ between regions, this session will cover some basics of physical accessibility and attitudinal barriers.
LESSON 6: The Cornerstones of Diversity
- Diversity experts Armida Russell, Amy Tolbert, and Frank Wilderman have identified four cornerstones of diversity development. They are knowledge, acceptance, understanding, and behavior. We will examine each cornerstone in detail during this session.
LESSON 7: Pre-assignment Review
- The pre-assignment that participants completed at the beginning of class will be reviewed. They will be allowed to update their pre-assignments based on all the information they learned throughout the day.
LESSON 8: Using the STOP Technique
- Diversity expert Lenora Billings-Harris has developed a four-step technique that you can use when someone is behaving in an inappropriate manner. It’s called STOP! Participants will learn about the technique, and will then apply it to various scenarios.
LESSON 9: Critical Conversations
- Lastly, we will give participants a framework for discussing disabilities using a coaching methodology that is effective for any interactions. Other communication barriers to be discussed include issues with our paradigms (Rules/boundaries), spontaneous and reflective behaviors, and knowing ourselves using a technique called the Johari Window.
LESSON 10: Workshop Wrap-Up
- At the end of the course, students will review all course content with the instructor, complete their personal action plans, asks/address any final questions or concerns, and complete a course evaluation.
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