DSGC podcast 'Accessibility': Still a world to conquer

In the second DSGC podcast on the extent to which companies are accessible to people with an occupational disability, experts from ING Bank, Accenture, Breedweer and Defense give their vision on the desired company policy. Experts:

- Bianca Prins, Global Head of Accessibility at ING Bank (standing, left in photo),
- Melita Frankovic, Ministry of Defense communications officer and wheelchair user,
- Catie Crossman, Inclusion & Diversity Lead at Accenture consultancy
(standing, right in photo) and
- Jack Stuifbergen, director and major shareholder of social enterprise Breedweer
(seated, left in photo)

It is not just about wide doors or special supports in the toilet, but especially about how managers and colleagues deal with the limitations of others.

Listen to the podcast (54 min.)

This week, at the beginning of 'the month of 1000 examples', the UWV came with good news: up to and including the second quarter of 2022, 65.700 new jobs have been created for people with an occupational disability. This puts market employers on track to achieve the target of the national Jobs Agreement (70.000) this year as well.

The new jobs make demands on the accessibility of companies. An employee in a wheelchair benefits from MIVA doors, those who are deaf would like to have a podcast written out and those who are easily overstimulated need a quiet working environment.

Some quotes in the podcast

Prins: “Accessibility is about everything, about getting access to employment, education, everything.”

Prins: “The challenge for ING are the differences between obligations in the different countries.”

Frankovic: “Why am I titled a labor participant instead of a communications officer?”

Prins: “It is difficult to measure; employees don't display their disability and many disabilities are invisible. Probably 1 in 5 people in the Netherlands has a disability. Just think of the people with dyslexia. Disability isn't a bad word."

Crossman: “We advise Accenture's customers inclusive design. Provide a safe working environment and make the subject open to discussion. Does everyone feel happy, are the working conditions good and tailor-made for everyone?”

Frankovic: “I used to put on my CV. that I was in a wheelchair. I was not invited anywhere.”

Stuifbergen: “Inclusion and accessibility must naturally be part of their strategy for employers. If you do not give social value a place in your company now, you will not be future-proof.”

Stuifbergen: “Why would it be a lot of work? Just start. Start giving compliments.”

Frankovic: “People need to realize that a disability does not have to be a limitation. My colleagues at Defense ask 'how do you want us to deal with your disability?'

The reason for the podcast is the DSGC expert session on inclusion in September. Prins and Crossman speak in English, Stuifbergen and Frankovic in Dutch. Glenn van der Burg (seated, right in the photo) leads the conversation. Also in the photo: Annemarie van Oorschot, DSGC communication manager.