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Inclusive Workplaces Drive Inclusive Communities

Published by Kassi Soulard on

This is a special post by Jeff Lafata-Hernandez, Executive Director of EPIC.

When people think of EPIC (which stands for Empowering People for Inclusive Communities), our signature EPIC Service Warrior Program probably comes to mind. They envision youth leaders with disabilities serving their communities and meeting their goals. However, many people often forget about the other important work we do at EPIC that moves our world forward quietly from the background, EPIC’s Training and Consulting.  EPIC gives Service Warriors the tools to lead and, through our Training and Consulting, we equip the world for today’s disabled leaders.

EPIC’s Training and Consulting are critical to the mission of Triangle. As we prepare people with disabilities to enter the workforce, we must ensure that workplaces are inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities to not only get and keep a job, but to thrive in that job. It is not enough for companies to hire people with disabilities; instead, they need to build a culture that challenges ableism, promotes inclusion, and ensures accessibility. This is where EPIC Training and Consulting comes in.

In the growing field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), 96% of programs do not mention disabilities and ableism.  By leaving this vital part of DEI work out of the conversation, people with disabilities continue to be left behind, and companies also suffer.  Without disability inclusion and anti-ableism work, recruiters are missing out on the largest untapped pool of job seekers.  Employees with disabilities who do enter the workplace are often put in environments that feel unsafe, which can lead them to not disclose their disabilities and not get the accommodations they need. This cycle continues to leave people with disabilities unemployed or underemployed. Additionally, companies struggle to fill positions and lose quality employees due to their unknown workplace cultures of ableism and exclusion.

EPIC works to address ableism and build disability inclusion in workplaces across sectors. EPIC provides tailored, interactive training for everyone in the workplace on issues of ableism and inclusion. For those ready to take the next step, EPIC offers consulting services to look at and create policies, procedures, and culture to ensure your workplace is a safe, inclusive, and anti-ableist environment for all employees to thrive. Our offerings are highly customizable and can be delivered across multi-site/location companies or community organizations via in-person or virtual program delivery.

Click here to learn more about EPIC’s Training and Consulting services, or to request more information.