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Disability at Work Jobstacle course


At a conference I attended recently, I experienced a jobstacle course, which happened to also be on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3rd IDPWD2018).

Here is a link to some photos, with each station you got to experience what it was like to live in a world with vision problems, sensory issues, fine motor issues, learning disabilities etc.

My colleague that was leading the kiosk said that with diversity and inclusion it is great to help eliminate hidden bias and blind spots, but we have to do even more so that individuals don't have to self-identify to get the supports they need. The supports should already be offered and there from the start.

For example, if someone has dyslexia, they should not have to disclose that during an interview process, options should be given for everyone. If you want to respond to the exam in writing press button one, if you want to respond orally choose option two etc.., that would be a truly inclusive workplace.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.



Mary Ramirez Community Leader Jan 02, 2019

This is pretty cool! Thank you for sharing. I wish I could have attended. 

Like # people like this

Thanks Mary - it was a great event, it was a Managers' Exchange in Moncton, New Brunswick and the jobstacle course was part of the marketplace.

Linette Atlassian Team Jan 02, 2019

That looks really great!! Thanks so much for sharing!

When I was at uni I did a course on 'design for special human need' and one of the days was entirely dedicated to this kind of experience. Highlights included wearing sandblasted goggles, a puffy coat, rubber gloves and water wings, and then going into a store with the task of finding out what the ingredients were for a popular brand of tomato soup and writing them down. It was not easy, I can tell you!! We also had to navigate one of our campuses in a wheelchair, which gives a swift appreciation for how much of a pain a small step, or a too steep 'accessibility' slope can be.

I also remember we talked about how accessible design makes things better for many many people. The flip top toothpaste cap not only helped my 1 armed friend, but also anyone who had something in their other hand, or was not good with fiddly screw top lids!

Inclusive design of things and processes can have a wider impact than may at first be obvious.

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Thanks for sharing Linette! Very true, inclusive design is crucial for now and the future. That course you took in university sounds amazing, offering that real-life experience. 

When I was a student at Humboldt State University, it was at the height of the fight for the Americans with Disabilities Act. My psych class had a disability assignment, which meant we had to live for a week with our chosen disability. I initially chose stuttering, but it was so humiliating, I quickly changed to blindness. I ended up running blind with my roommate holding my hand and guiding me through the run.

Both experiences changed me quite a bit--and I've been advocating for people ever since.

In my role as a technical writer, I make sure software development (and online help) follows ADA web standards to make sure that people with hearing and sight disabilities can use the most common adaptive tools smoothly.

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this

Wow @Karen O'Keefe what an experience that would have been for you and your class. Nothing instills a greater understanding, than walking a mile in another's shoes, experiencing what others experience first hand. 

That is amazing that you are working in accessibility now in your role as technical writer,  truly making a difference in user experience, what a rewarding job you have. Thanks so much for sharing.

Like Karen O'Keefe likes this
Linette Atlassian Team Jan 07, 2019

Wow, doing it for a week? That must have been intense! I love how that has shaped you and the work you do.

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I agree with Linette, a whole week is dedication and must have really made a life long impact. 

Like Karen O'Keefe likes this

Here were a couple more ideas from the conference, that were not on my twitter link: a job application where you had to complete it by only looking at it through a mirror, ,and also reading a scrambled word paragraph. This is to demonstrate what it would be like living with a learning disability. 

application mirror.jpg

The second photo is an idea that one kiosk had to have a Disability at Work activity box that can be brought to team meetings, that have a few exercises that individuals can experience on the spot to raise understanding and awareness.

activity box.jpg

Like # people like this
Linette Atlassian Team Jan 09, 2019

These are awesome too! Thanks so much for sharing!


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