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    Many companies have no previous experience in dealing with workers with disabilities.

    It is nonetheless imperative that they do so. Fortunately, the task nowadays has been facilitated by the availability of new tools developed in connection with the “plurality management” methodology.

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    The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) issued by the WHO in 2001 provides the reference framework for understanding and defining the human experience of disability.

    • Anyone can experience disability in their lifetime, and the nature of the disability itself can change over time.
    • A disability is something that manifests itself at the intersection between a person’s specific condition and the particular environment in which they operate.
    • Disability does not define the whole person, but merely one aspect of their being.
    • Disability has as much to do with social participation as with biological and psychological well-being.

     

    Wise Growth intervenes at several levels: it makes a qualitative and quantitative assessment of what is happening in the company; it disseminates information and raises the awareness of company personnel across the various departments; it reviews the company’s HR and organizational processes with a view to enhancing inclusivity; it coaches recruiters to be more aware of the issues surrounding disability; it empowers people with disabilities; and it advises on skill evaluations and job placement.

    — FOCUS

    Example

    Training company staff to learn through listening.

    Wise Growth has helped a large Italian bank to improve how it listens to its workers with disabilities and thus establish a “Training-Listening” programme that does not depend on the application of ready-made solutions. Rather, the programme puts in place a mechanism of mediation that involves the establishment of a structured listening space in which workers can speak freely about their experiences, needs and desires, express their thoughts about current arrangements and propose viable solutions that will enable them to work effectively and productively.

    The “Training-Listening” programme ultimately contributes to the advantage of the company, but it also interesting in its own right because the sessions are also attended by “privileged witnesses” – managers and executives – who hear, first-hand, stories that they would never have heard and learn about worlds they do not know and could never have imagined, even though it is their job to manage the persons affected.