Employing people with disability: It's right and smart

Mon 31 March 2014

News from the International Labor Office - Geneva

Employing people with disability requires overcoming a fear of the unkonwn and looking at abilities rather than disabilities.

Yves Veulliet, Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager, IBM, businessman, wheelchair userYves Veulliet is the Global Disability and Inclusion Manager for IBM, and has personal experience of disability, and the barriers that can be faced by people with disability when trying to find a job.

"The reality is that we are all afraid of the unknown. Most people are uncomfortable at first around people with disabilities, it is natural," says Veulliet. 

The environment, including the work culture as well as physical features, is also very important. Veulliet says when he joined IBM he felt his disability had vanished because the premises were highly accessible.

Barriers to employment for people with disability often result from misconceptions about what people can and cannot do, but evidence suggests that once employers overcome their fear of the unknown, hiring and working with people with disability becomes natural.

In his disability inclusion presentations, Veulliet says "Companies do not have to hire a person with a disability. They have to hire someone with the appropriate skills to perform a given job. If that person happens to have a disability, so be it, but disability is not the point."

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