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From prejudice to advantage - profit is never disabled

Although I neither like nor use the word myself, today I consciously toss it through my blog: disability. The year is 2021 and it is still the exception that disabled people are a natural part of social and, above all, economic life. That can be different. For insanely simple reasons.

There is no question that there is movement in the topic, as has been the case in many relevant topics in recent years. At the same time, it sometimes stuns me how cumbersome change is and how slow changes are taking place, the advantages of which are so obvious. Why is that? How does the movement jump over to the people and out of the topic? In society, in companies?

Fighting and complaining?

Some may call my approach incorrigible idealism; I see it myself as a visionary realism. Of course, I could complain about the handicap being disadvantaged. I am constantly upset about the baby steps towards accessibility. Getting loud against diversity ignorance. But my deep inner conviction, but above all my lived experience in the meantime, allow me to pursue my approach further. The approach namely to motivate people; To inspire people for more diversity or to let them experience in direct contact how unfounded most of their prejudices are. All of this without righteousness or struggle. Openness and a desire for change rarely arise through procesution and accusation. We can draw conclusions about others from ourselves.

When are we ready to take a real look? To listen? When it is demanded rigidly? Or when we are made curious?

When I have to read on Wikipedia that the “International Day of People with Disabilities ... is a day of remembrance and action to raise public awareness of the problems of people with disabilities and to work for the dignity, rights and well-being of these people should be promoted. ", then I read one thing above all: Problem! In need of help. As if “disabled people” were a homogeneous group that basically needed social support without being able to contribute anything themselves.

Some associations and institutions even proclaim, “Disabled People's Fighting-Day”. Fight. Problem. Frustration. This is not a soil on which change grows. And not the language I want to speak when I meet people.

Diversity ignorance is a losing business

Yes, of course it will take legal and structural changes. But an outer corset is only a stabilizing crutch if there is no content behind it. Change cannot be decreed on its own. It lives in every person and thus intrinsically in society. I no longer want to talk about what is not happening and what is going badly and where everything is failing. It is worth so much more when leaders in politics and business see what there is to be won.

Because people with disabilities are not qualified employees despite their disabilities. People are qualified or not. That’s it. The bigger the pool of talents I can choose from, the more I will find those who fit my company.

The profit already lies in the word diversity. Diversity is abundance. Is it crazy to just look at each person to see what makes them unfold? Isn't it much crazier not to do this and instead open standardized drawers?

New thinking does not arise by torpedoing the old. New thinking arises when I create new images. Dare ideas. Make offers instead of blamings. By thinking in terms of possibilities rather than limitations. By swapping “if” for “how”; by integrating instead of being angry.

Doing and motivating!

You know my attitude towards a passive-enduring attitude and active self-efficacy [Hop off that whining-wheel]. Seen in this way, there is more victimism in some “combat activism” than it is good for the cause. And in some well-meaning "help" an unnecessary incapacitation.

One of the most important reasons my best life is my best, is because I make it myself and do not wait for circumstances to change. So, I was able to experience countless times that the circumstances have changed precisely because I just did. Looking for solutions and getting others on board.

The demand was never “please make it happen for me”. The question was simply “How do we make it possible together?”.

That is the core question that, for me, stands in the center of attention for social change.

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© 2024 Janis McDavid