Invisible Disabilities at Work: Fostering Advocacy and Acceptance | Sessions

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Concurrent Session
Invisible Disabilities at Work: Fostering Advocacy and Acceptance
In-Person and Virtual Monday 06/24/2024 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM   Add to calendar

Competencies: Business (Behavioral), Interpersonal (Behavioral), Leadership (Behavioral) | Intended Audience: Mid-Level, Senior-Level
Workplace Application:
Attendees will hear about innovative research to aid organizations in becoming more aware of invisible disabilities and create policies that foster advocacy and acceptance. 

Many employees expend considerable emotional energy hiding their disabilities from colleagues and bosses in every interaction at work, in every meeting, and when toiling away side-by-side. It's exhausting and stressful. But the stigma around disabilities - the fear of discrimination and rejection, and the risk related to job security - prevents many employees from disclosing their condition and asking for supports and accommodations to succeed at work.  Yet studies show that when employers intentionally create an atmosphere of acceptance and show a commitment to build inclusion - offering disability awareness training and creating employee resource groups as a safe place for people with disabilities, chronic conditions, or difficult life situations to meet and support one another - employees no longer feel threatened to reveal a disability. Instead, they take advantage of employer-provided supports, which, in turn, improves their wellbeing, increases their level of trust in others, and boosts their productivity.  This presentation explores how to approach disclosure in the workplace and provides research-driven strategies that cultivate acceptance from colleagues and supervisors.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear how masking inhibits executive functioning skills.
  • Learn about strategies to determine whether and how to disclose a disability.
  • Discuss questions to ask to try to determine whether an organization has a culture of acceptance and diversity.
  • Talk about approaches to help you advocate for policies that support people with invisible disabilities.
  • Innovative research to aid organizations in becoming more aware of invisible disabilities and create policies that foster advocacy and acceptance.
Jessica Hicksted, Ph.D. Photo
Presenter:
Jessica Hicksted, Ph.D., Advocate / Researcher - CACI, ND Outloud!,
Invisible Disabilities Association