Why is inclusion so important in the workplace?

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Here, too, the first question is what inclusion in the workplace actually means. First and foremost, it means that all people, including people with disabilities, should have the same opportunities on the labor market. This is also a question of the attitude of employers towards employees. Often it is the fear that a person with a disability is not as capable as someone without a disability. In many cases, this is based on a certain lack of knowledge about the actual extent of the impairment and also about the person's ability to compensate. This often leads to an underestimation of the performance of people with disabilities.


Of course, every restriction also entails concrete disadvantages. Nevertheless, to ensure equal opportunities, structures must be created in the workplace that enable the employee to fulfill his or her role there in the best possible way. In many cases, these can be small adjustments, such as in my case a simple magnifying glass or printing documents in larger type. If larger measures are necessary, such as modifications or the purchase of expensive aids, the Integration Office can be called in to cover all or part of the costs.


And why is inclusion so important?
Here, too, the focus is on the social aspect. A society that has set itself the task of integrating people with disabilities must also do so in the workplace. After all, this is part of everyday life and social life for all of us. Anyone who does not have the opportunity to pursue an activity within the scope of his or her limitation is also not integrated.


Another positive aspect of inclusion in the workplace is the mental health of people with disabilities. Certainly, it is an important part of rehabilitation to also come to terms with the limits of one's own capabilities. But repeatedly pushing against those limits is a burden in the long run that can have a negative impact on an individual's morale and health. To take a personal example, in my work as a physical therapist, when I have to ask a patient for the doctor's diagnosis because I can't decipher the diagnosis on the prescription, I push very hard against a limit that can be circumvented with a simple magnifying glass. In addition, the patient's trust decreases because I leave a poorly organized impression. Damaging one's own reputation and possibly that of the entire company in this and similar ways may be a heavy burden that can easily be avoided through inclusive work.


Lastly, the financial question from the state's perspective. Not from the employer's point of view, because the employer is able to be reimbursed for most of the costs resulting from inclusion. Without inclusion, a disabled person may not have a chance in the primary labor market. Instead, the options are appropriate workshops or directly a pension. Both represent a permanent financial burden for the state and thus for the taxpayer.


On the other hand, any retraining is also cost-intensive, depending on the restriction and job design. After that, however, the calculation quickly turns around, because inclusion turns everyone into a functioning cog in our economic machinery, earning money, paying taxes and spending the money they earn themselves, bringing it back into circulation. A win-win situation for everyone.


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