Over the next two weeks we will look at more specific benefits to Disability Awareness training. While a good training programme should obviously result in greater overall awareness from business owners, line management, human resource teams and general staff when it comes to engaging disabled people, there are other, more specific benefits which will be looked at here.
Let's look at three benefits to start..
1 - Ensure better customer service.
If your organisation has frontline staff who engage members of the public either in person, on call or online, they are regularly dealing with disabled people. If these staff members are trained to recognise disability and are aware of its prevalence, they are far more likely to provide a better overall customer service experience. This applies not only to people with disabilities, but to those who accompany them, such as family, friends, colleagues or carers. Customer satisfaction will in turn increase and this will result in repeat business for the organisation.
2 - Acquire a better understanding of legislation and how it impacts your service.
There are several legislative acts which public and private service providers are expected to comply with. These are The Employment Equality Acts, The Equal Status Acts, The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act and The Disability Act. Businesses who discriminate against people with disabilities may be brought to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) or for public service providers, may face complaints directly under the Disability Act 2005.
While decisions made especially by the WRC can result in significant fines for businesses, the negative publicity which results from businesses deemed to be discriminatory towards disabled people should also not be underestimated.
3 - Change your perception of what disability means to you.
Most people who attend disability awareness training arrive with various levels of preconceived ideas as to what disability is. For attendees at our General Disability Awareness Training, we have found the modules which have the greatest overall impact are those which focus on dispelling assumptions and misconceptions around disabilities, as well as modules which focus on types of disabilities and the impact on the lives of those who have them.
By completing a training programme people are far more likely to reduce their conscious and unconscious bias towards people with disabilities. If staff have a more rounded view when it comes to disability, then the organisation itself will be more receptive of this group.
Next week we will look at more specific benefits to organisations who source Disability Awareness training for their staff.