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WATCH: NOD Chairman Gov. Tom Ridge Commemorates 20th Anniversary of 9/11
“At our country’s worst moment, we survived on a steady diet of kindness, generosity and compassion. You may not find those words in any national security plan. But I can assure you – those concepts are just as critical to our national resilience as any component of national defense.”
Could the lessons of the pandemic be a boon to workers with disabilities?
“It’s been really incredibly liberating to be in any context and say, ‘Yep, I can hop right in,’” Das said.
Das, who also lip reads, says it’s also good to think about how in-person office policies, such as mask mandates, will affect people with disabilities.
“What might that mean for employees who might have a cognitive disability, or employees who might be deaf?” said Das. “I’m really thinking holistically about how the office is organized.”
No judgment, just empathy: How to approach disabilities in a post-COVID era
As businesses bring people back to the office, they are keenly aware that some employees will have difficulty adjusting to the “next normal” in the workplace, juggling expectations at home and in the office.
Company managers need to keep in mind that they may be supervising “long haulers,” or people who have long-term mental health and physical issues caused by COVID-19. This not only could have an impact on employees but on a business’ work productivity. Anxiety and depression are real, and as a nation, we need to take action and help each other. It may be challenging to deal with the stigma of those mental illnesses, but the consequences of not acting — lost productivity, lost workdays, and in the extreme, suicide — are far greater.