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11 July 2023

Virtually Human: Disability Pride Month 2023  

By Jan Iverson
FS Studio Pride Month

By Jan Iverson

Every July we celebrate Disability Pride Month to commemorate the passage of this landmark civil rights law.

July is Disability Pride Month, which is celebrating its 32nd year after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. The month is a time to recognize and celebrate how disability is a natural part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride. Following this legislation, Boston, Massachusetts, held the first-ever Disability Pride Day event, and Disability Pride Month was born.  

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 37% of LGBTQ+ employees with disabilities are more likely to work remotely than their non-disabled counterparts as remote work often offers increased flexibility and accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Here are some key points to consider: 

  • Reduced Discrimination: Remote work can help reduce discrimination that individuals with disabilities may face in traditional workplaces. In a remote setting, the focus is more on the quality of work and productivity rather than physical appearance or mobility. This can create a more inclusive and equitable work environment. 
  • Internal Communication: Use inclusive language in your company’s communications. This includes using gender-neutral pronouns and avoiding terms that are offensive to LGBTQ+ people. 
  • Connection: Create a space for LGBTQ+ disabled employees to connect with each other. This could be a virtual support group or a forum where employees can share their experiences. 
  • Improved Work-Life Balance: This can be especially beneficial for individuals with disabilities who may have additional personal or medical needs. It allows for easier integration of work and personal life, reducing stress and increasing overall well-being. 
  • Accommodations and Support: While remote work can be more accommodating for some disabilities, it’s important to note that different individuals may still require specific accommodations or support to perform their work effectively. Employers should ensure they have processes in place to provide reasonable accommodations and address any individual needs that may arise. 
  • Social Isolation: Remote work can potentially lead to social isolation for individuals with disabilities who rely on workplace interactions for social connections. Employers should consider fostering a sense of community through virtual communication, regular team meetings, and opportunities for social engagement to mitigate this challenge. 

It’s worth noting that the experience of remote work can vary depending on the type and severity of the disability. Employers should engage in open communication with their employees to understand their specific needs and provide appropriate support. Additionally, local laws and regulations regarding disability accommodations should be considered when implementing remote work policies. 

Disability Pride Month

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful: 

Jan Iverson is Head of Studio at FS Studio and an award-winning product leader with over 20-years of extensive experience in digital media and marketing, with a specialization in the design and development of AR, VR and 3D activations: mobile apps, games, LBE, sales tools, digital twins; with XR cross-platform content development, and a track record of success in leading award-winning digital creative teams. Virtually Human is her bi-weekly series.