It took me over 15 years before I openly talked about my disability in the workplace. I have Usher Syndrome resulting in gradual loss of hearing and eyesight.
From my very first job interview, I never disclosed my disability because I was almost ashamed of it, and I was worried I would be judged or perceived as less capable. I am a proud 2x Paralympian (Rio and Tokyo) and had the honour of winning Australia's first gold medal in Triathlon (vision impaired class) at the Rio 2016 Paralympics with Michellie Jones as my Guide.
It was largely due to the Paralympic Movement that I finally was able to talk more openly about living with Usher Syndrome and not feel that I would perceived differently.
Today for #IWD, you might like to read the Women with Disability Leadership Statement (Australia). This statement provides real practical advice and solutions on how you can do better at bringing all people with disability including women, as leaders in your workplace.
The full statement is below and here are the 5 key points:
1. Lead by lifting others up. “Leadership that creates space for others to join, feel and be heard too”
2. Value diversity and lived experience. “Promoting the status of women and girls with disabilities in all our diversity”
3. Challenging and transforming traditional views of leadership. “Women with disabilities are not problems to be ‘fixed’, we are problem solvers”
4. Care for self to care for community. “The relationships we have with ourselves, and others are the most important resources that we have”
5. Nothing about us without us. “Inclusion not segregation.”
WWDA #IWD Statement: