World Disability Day 2023

World Disability Day 2023

World Disability Day 2023 | How do you support disabled employees in the workplace?

How do you support disabled employees in the workplace?

The International Day of Disabled Persons recognises visible and invisible disabilities, to promote the importance of inclusion in life and the workplace.

Each year, World Disability Day is hosted by the United Nations and encourages business leaders across the globe to value the unique contributions of disabled people.


When is the International Day of Disabled Persons 2023?
3rd December 2023


Anyone can be affected by a disability (even me), and it is important to ensure all employees understand the importance of accessibility to cultivate an inclusive culture.

  • Senior leadership which champions disability inclusion;
  • Strategic planning that takes into account people with disabilities;
  • The development of disability-specific policies or strategies;
  • The establishment of teams or individuals with knowledge and expertise on disability inclusion.


There are 1.3 billion persons with disabilities worldwide and 9% of UK businesses are founded and run by disabled individuals.


The impact of living with a non-visible disability can be slight or can have a huge effect on someone’s life, hidden or less visible disabilities can make it difficult for us to access what we need.

Some ‘non-visible’ conditions are visible sometimes. Also, they can be ‘seen’ by some people who might have a better understanding of the condition. But they are not usually visible to others. Non-visible disabilities are named this way because you cannot always easily see the nature of the disability. Some people with non-visible disabilities might use mobility aids, whereas others will not. Personally, I like to use my walker as it is a great visual aid for others to see immediately that my walking is impaired.

The journey to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce begins with a commitment to a clear vision and accountability. Every business needs to take this responsibility seriously and be dedicated to making meaningful steps toward creating a more diverse and inclusive company. Aim to create an environment where everyone can belong and ensure that no one is left out – each person should have what need to thrive.


Michelle Roberts, MCIM states:

“By investing in diversity in your business as a whole, you will not only take steps forward in your effort of inclusion but will also open up opportunities to attract a wider market of talent.

Having a more diverse and inclusive business changes the quality and impact of your offering, and that will be evident in the content you share. and material you create.  I urge all businesses to strive to create a workplace culture where the members of the team can be their best selves regardless of cultural differences, place of birth, beliefs or disabilities.

Having a more diverse and inclusive workplace allows for different conversations, different views or perspectives and different experiences allowing businesses to be more agile and current.


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How to improve accessibility & inclusion in the workplace

Several common issues can prevent disabled employees from performing at their best. From wheelchair ramps to screen readers, and braille signage to accessible toilets, it is important to cater to employees of all abilities and consider how your workplace will impact a disabled person. On this International Day of Disabled Persons, create an accessible environment for everyone in your team.

Examples of accessibility in the workplace include:

  • Wheelchair/mobility device ramps
  • Lifts to other floors
  • Bathroom access
  • Quiet rooms
  • Braille signage
  • Adaptive desks & chairs
  • Digital accessibility tools


Marketing Consultant, Michelle Roberts, has had a brain tumour removed, which resulted in having a stroke and lives with her disability daily. From things able-bodied people take for granted, such as entering shops, and restaurants, where bathrooms are located, to the logistics of getting to and from a place, every day is a challenge.

“Working as a freelance marketer has given me the confidence to make critical contributions to my clients. A town’s infrastructure can (and does) make it difficult for me to get around. Being able to work remotely means I get to add my skill set to any team, anywhere at any time.”



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    A freelance marketing specialist Michelle helps small businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurs maximise their marketing strategy to promote customer acquisition and retention. She has 20 years experience working in marketing and design and has won a few awards along the way. She is trained by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), a Member of the CIM and a Certified Practitioner in the Watertight Marketing Community.

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