As part of our #GetKind theme of safety for the months of May and June, we wanted to share some of our experiences of creating safer places for disabled people. All of these are personal stories of dealing with disabilities, whether our own disabilities or disabilities of friends, family, or coworkers. There is no one way to solve everything for everyone, but we can all work together to make the world more inclusive.
A Touch of Kindness
A staff member tells us about a time their organization recognized a way to be kind to all their employees by making a change when the opportunity arose. “We have laptops provided by work for us to use. We also have a staff member with muscular dystrophy. Using a standard keyboard is slow for him, although he can manage. He didn’t complain but we found that using a touch screen was much easier for him. When we changed our laptops recently, we all got touchscreen ones, so now he can use any of them.” This team showed kindness in recognizing that not everyone will complain if they can manage a task even if it causes great difficulty.
An App to Go
One of our regional representatives tells us about how sharing small tidbits of information can drastically improve lives. “When a friend of mine who was diagnosed with Crohn’s from a young age found out that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, she introduced me to one of the most life changing apps to locate public toilets wherever I am! Since then, I have spoken about the app to many people as you just don’t know who may need it given how invisible gut-related chronic illnesses can be.” Sharing tips with each other can help people in ways you do not even know. We love how one kindness turns into sharing more kindness.
Creating an Inclusive Workplace
Another staff member tells us about how making changes to help someone keeps an inclusive atmosphere. “While working as a retail manager, I had a person join the team who was significantly shorter than the rest of the team. The registers had not been designed to allow her to operate them easily. In conjunction with the instore safety team, we decided to source a purpose-built platform for the team member that would allow her to operate the registers and ensure she wasn’t excluded from any store activity.” Making changes to help others succeed allows everyone to feel like part of the team. This is a great show of leadership and kindness to all team members.
Even our very own Executive Director Rachel Miner received kindness when a friend of hers advocated for her. “When Rachel began going to Creation Conventions, they did not have a ramp for her to get onto the stage with her electric scooter. Her friend Kim, seeing the lack of accessibility and accommodations, advocated on her behalf (rather loudly) to ensure that going forward ramps were a regular part of the conventions. This not only helped guests like Rachel, but this also helped convention goers who needed ramps as well.”
Safety and Kindness for All
Kindness comes in many forms just like safety does. Safety is important for everyone regardless of disabilities. We can all create a safer, more inclusive world together by being aware of our surroundings and the people around us. We would love to hear your stories of how you adapted or accommodated for #GetKind Safety for yourself or others on social media. If these inspired you to do a kind act of your own, you can apply for support or reach out to your local regional representative.