While Caroline Casey, CEO of The Valuable 500, spoke about the possibilities of global collaborations in Tel Aviv tonight, a small question was asked. “Well”, said the lady in the crowd, “what if the things we do regarding accessibility are of no interest to our clients? What if no one cares about it?” she asked.
That is an excellent question, which we at BuildInn appreciate since it relates to the value of innovation. Additionally, as an Access Israel innovator, it fascinates me, as it combines two topics I enjoy – sustainability and accessibility – and the relationship between these topics is extremely valuable. Therefore, I will share my thoughts.The following are seven possible answers that may assist you in assessing the effectiveness of your accessibility efforts, and make sure you are not boring.
- Value should be preferred over stories – if all you provide are numbers (35 disabled employees), that is boring. It would be helpful if you could explain what the actual benefits are to your company from these 35 – thats valuable!
- Focus on the future – using accessibility or the SDG framework to measure the past is boring (indeed hardly anyone cares about your 2% employees). When you use them as a guide – to consider what you can do globally to address the employment needs of disabled individuals, that is valuable.
- Focus on your factories and not the workforce – if you focus on their disabilities and your willingness to “allow” them to work for you, that will be boring. If you are willing to rethink your production lines and make them more accessible to all employees, then that is valuable.
- Focus on the connection – it is boring to discuss accessible employment and accessible products separately. If you can see the connection, and understand that employees with disabilities will give you a deeper understanding of clients with disabilities – that are 15% of the population (and can be your new clients), then that’s very valuable.
- Concentrate on your business core – Accessible offices are good, but if your business core is investments, then applying an assessment of credit based on accessibility is valuable. if you are from the smart transportation sector make sure they can go on your upcoming vehicles.
- Invest in accessible-tech – if your organization is seeking new investments, that is nice. If you want to invest in startups that can create solutions for the challenges facing people with disabilities, that is valuable.
- Consider prevention – the most difficult step is to ask yourself, “will you avoid working with inaccessible companies?” Will you avoid investing in them? If you do, that is extremely valuable!
And….What about stories and numbers? Aren’t they important?
They are important. But first, you must determine “why?” you perform accessibility and then “how?”. Rather than counting accessibility activities, count the value they create. This is not about 35 disabled employees, but rather the value they create – better customer satisfaction? Increased employee engagement? Increased sales? Increased client satisfaction? you will count.
At that point, the act of doing something valuable will make a great story of itself – for you, your organization, your employees who will be proud and will (probably) say, “Now,That’s my organization!”, your clients, and society at large. and that’s valuable!
As a final note, we are working with larger organizations regarding innovation, and specifically with Access Israel on the project “Possible!” – a global initiative focusing on creating accessible technologies by design. If that is relevant to your organization, please do not hesitate to contact me or my team.