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  • Stephanie Woodward

20 Ways Business Leaders Can Mitigate Implicit Bias Against Disabled People

1. Hire more disabled people

2. Pay employees with disabilities at least the same amount you pay your able bodied white men employees.

3. Connect with disability-led organizations and actively engage with them

4. Specifically seek out candidates with disabilities

5. Hire a consultant with a disability to perform an access review of your workplace

6. Host events in accessible spaces (remember parking, routes, and bathrooms!)

7. Have a reasonable accommodation policy and be very open about it

8. Follow 50 new disabled people and disability led organizations on social media

9. Watch Stella Young’s “I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank you Very Much” https://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much?language=en

10. Read the ABA Disability Implicit Bias Guide: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/diversity/disabilityrights/resources/implicit_bias/

11. Mentor employees with disabilities

12. Find a mentor with a disability for yourself

13. Google “Inspiration Porn” and actively work on not promoting it anymore

14. Distribute images and stories that portray disabled people in positive (and not inspiration porn) ways, such as a poster celebrating the 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

15. Commit to going beyond compliance for disability access and inclusion.

16. Go to coffee or a meal with disabled people. Don’t intentionally talk about disability.

17. Confront your own biases aloud when you recognize that your thoughts may be biased.

18. Openly discuss your own biases with others so that they may explore their biases as well.

19. When you hear a stereotype about disabled people, openly state the opposite of that stereotype. (Ex. Stereotype: Disabled people are lazy. You say: Disabled people work hard).

20. Listen to disabled people when we tell you our experiences. Do not try to minimize or dispute the oppression we experience. Instead, ask us how to be a better ally.


© Stephanie Woodward, 2019. All rights reserved.


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