Workplace Communication Disability Challenges Research Paper

Pages: 11 (3413 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Management  ·  Written: October 16, 2019

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
The specialist/translator would be there to facilitate communications.

The next step needed to provide support is to have the technological infrastructure in place so that easy communications using digital technology can be achieved. The communications disabled worker should not be made to feel that special treatment or special changes are being made just for his sake. This can create the feeling of stigma, especially if peers reject these changes. Thus, they should be made before a disabled person is hired. The infrastructure should include the ability to send electronic exchanges from anywhere in the office and a policy for all exchanges to be made using this technology. The rationale would be that it leaves a digital trail so that all communications can be preserved. Efficiency of operations is the main idea and this is how the policy should be explained—not that it is meant to be a support for disabled persons. After all, the idea of the HR is to draw attention to abilities—not to disabilities. Thus, these changes should never be highlighted or justified as being for disabled people because that is a focus on the disability. Rather, the focus should be on the increased efficiency of the workplace as the rationale for the implementation.

With a translator and specialist employed full-time and made available to any and all employees wishing to facilitate their own communications with others, and with a technological infrastructure in place to assist the communications disabled the organization would be prepared to offer supportive employment of any worker with this disability.

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Creating the Right Culture

Research Paper on Workplace Communication Disability Challenges Assignment

The organization must create a culture where disabilities are not a stigma, but rather a place where inclusivity and diversity can be promoted. Stigma is one of the worst feelings one can experience when one is disabled (Lalvani, 2015). It separates one from one’s peers and leaves in a place of isolation, marginalization and anxiety. It is healthy to want to be part of society and to have social interaction with one’s colleagues. The problem for those suffering from a communication disability, however, is that they are often unable to be part of that society they long to be part of because they lack the tools to fit in. Their speech, their hearing, their articulation—some aspect of communication is lacking, and because of their otherness they are seen as somehow unworthy or unfit to be part of the normal workplace. They are pitied or looked down upon or avoided because they are different and their peers lack the tools to acknowledge and appreciate that difference and to overcome it with empathy, sympathy and charity. That is why developing a culture that promotes inclusivity and respect for diversity is so important: it helps to remind those who do not have a disability that those who do also have other qualities that make them human.

Creating the right culture depends upon training and educating workers on how to think, behave and interact. It is about establishing an environment where there are acceptable social norms and unacceptable behaviors that are not tolerated. It is about creating a workplace environment where the differences are understood and workers know what is okay and what should not be permitted. They not only know how to act but why they should act that way.

Thus, the most important aspect of creating the right culture is the defining of the organization’s core values and principles. These are what will dictate the terms and parameters of the culture. A value statement must be created that explicitly identifies and defines what it means to be inclusive and what it means to respect diversity. Inclusivity must be promoted as a core value by stating that the organization opens its doors to all people of all places of all backgrounds and abilities. The term “disability” should never be mentioned because the aim of inclusiveness is to respect people for their abilities, not for that which they might lack when compared to others. The idea is that there should be no “norm” as such but rather a level playing field where everyone is equal, welcome and can feel that he belongs.

The principles that the organization must promote should foster the spirit of respect and appreciation that goes along with inclusivity and diversity. Understanding should be provided and employees should be able to have time to learn about other peoples, cultures, ways of life, all on company time because the organization should show that it cares about creating cultural competencies among its workers. To establish a culture within the workplace that is truly embracing of other people, it is necessary that education be part of the program.

Training on behaviors, interactions, acceptable modes of discourse and how one should conduct oneself when with other people who are different from oneself—these are all items that should be covered in employing training programs both for new hires and experienced workers. The more training that can be applied, the more skilled workers will become in reflecting the values and ideals the firm seeks to promote. Stigma should always be rooted out by having HR communicate positive messages weekly that show why diversity and inclusivity are helpful and important to the organization. A spirit of mission and a spirit of community where all differences are recognized as being part of the whole that makes the firm work so well and so efficiently must be the main focus of HR when developing this culture.

Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about people with communication stigmas and these need to be cleared up before the company can make any headway in creating a culture of inclusivity. The first false belief is that all people with communication disabilities use sign language, use Braille, read lips, and that people with hearing loss will not hear if the speaker does not shout.  The reality is that many people with communication disabilities simply suffer from issues like stuttering, or they lack the ability to pronounce phonograms, or they have a dialect that is hard for others to hear. For example, a worker who is hired may be from a country where English is not a popular language. The worker may learn English but he is also likely to have a strong native language that influences and affects his speaking so that others have difficulty understanding him. Or the person could even be American but be from the South and his regional dialect could make it hard for him to be understood clearly. This is one example of a communication disability: the individual speaks differently and cannot fit in with others very well. The American author Flannery O’Connor, who was from Georgia, suffered from this problem: when she went north for work, her accent was so strong no one could understand her.

Another example might be an instance where there is a worker who has a voice disorder. For instance, the person may lack the ability to control his pitch, his tone, his vocal quality or his resonance and duration. This results in moments of awkwardness and discomfort for others and causes the individual to feel ashamed for not being able to moderate his vocal performance. This is another basic example of what it means to have a communication disability. Disability is not always simply a matter of being deaf or needing sign language. It is also simply just a matter of being unable to communicate in “normal” terms.

A third example is a person who is unable to enunciate and articulate words clearly. This could be caused by one’s biology, one’s environment (heavy drug or alcohol abuse) or any number of other factors. Slurred speech, stuttering, and stammering are all forms of this type of communication disability. The individual should never be made to feel ashamed of his inability; rather, the person should be made to feel accepted based on other strengths the person possesses.

Misconceptions about communication disabilities can cause people to be surprised when they actually do come across a person with this type of disability in the workplace. They are likely to be thinking that all people with this disability have a problem hearing or have to speak through sign language. The reality is that it is the degree of communication that is difficult: people may not fit in or be understood because of a dialect or accent; they may not be able to moderate their voices sufficiently well; or they may have a stutter. Each of these is a way that communication disability can manifest itself. The people in the workplace should be cognizant of these manifestations and should not be frightened by them. The more training workers receive in this area, the more likely they are to appreciate these differences and to accept them

Conclusion

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