How and why we should ‘learn directly from disabled people’.

Yesterday afternoon a group of motivated and experienced professionals from several well-known global organisations gathered to be part of an interactive, round-table workshop about ‘Learning directly from disabled people.’

The workshop, ably lead by Kate Nash OBE, who is the author of bdi’s first publication of the same name, focused on the indisputable need for global companies to find credible and effective ways to routinely listen to, and learn from, disabled people.

The three founding members of bdi, Barclays, GSK and Infosys shared their own successes and learnings on the subject as part of a larger series of case studies that make up the latter section of the publication.

There then followed a frank and lively discussion about what works, and what doesn’t. About the need to continuously improve. To think and act creatively. And to engage across leadership levels from senior executives and middle managers, to grassroots and graduates through initiatives like reverse mentoring and employee resource groups.

We aired views about adapting for culture differences around the world, the importance of storytelling to build awareness and counter stigma and stereotypes, and of course, the perennial challenges linked to disclosure, misleading data and the term ‘disabled.’

It was a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded, passionate people who are committed to driving meaningful change within their organisations. Such change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires the true insights that comes from understanding the lived experience of people with disabilities. Change informed by insight is what will drive greater accessibility and productivity, and will ultimately enhance experiences for customers, employees and suppliers as they interact with truly inclusive organisations.

To download your copy of ‘Learning directly from disabled people’ and find out about future bdi events please visit our website.