Executive Summary: How Fortune 500 Leaders Look at Creating More Inclusive Workplaces for Specially-Abled People – Panel Discussion – uExcelerate

Executive Summary: How Fortune 500 Leaders Look at Creating More Inclusive Workplaces for Specially-Abled People – Panel Discussion


Sailesh Raghavan, Senior Director – Experience Technology, Publicis Sapient

S V KRISHNAN, Founder & CEO Dialogue in the Dark (DID) India & The Destination.com

Omita Sharma, Chief of Culture and Transformation (Culture, Engagement, People Branding and Change Management Leader)


Sudha Krishnan Co-Founder & Chief Empathy Officer Dialogue in the Dark (DID) India & The Desination.Com


A powerful discussion with leaders from Fortune 500 Companies to understand the importance of hiring specially-abled people and the initiatives and steps taken to create inclusive work cultures with disability sensitisation measures.

Some examples from industry: Leaders of organizations like SAP are working towards the creation of an inclusive society for the specially abled by altering the narrative on disability, and positioning it as an untapped opportunity when one embraces “Compassionate Capitalism”. Entrepreneurs like SV Krishnan and Sudha Krishnan are contributing by making employment opportunities available to visually impaired people.

Key Takeaways

How can leaders promote and engage Specially-Abled Talent at the workplace and create an inclusive culture to bring out their fullest potential?

People with disabilities are looking for freedom from exclusion because the world belongs to all. Freedom from exclusion is a very important component of inclusion that everyone should consider. Organizations need to look at the Model of 3 As to become more inclusive. The model includes the following elements: 

  • Awareness Building for Attitudinal Change
  • Accessibility 
  • Accomodation

It is important to create development programs for those without disabilities so that they can welcome people with disabilities with ease.  

How can leaders promote and engage Specially-Abled Talent at the workplace?

Having a greater pool of talent and including 15% for the specially-abled to become a part of the organization. Organizations should not assume what is required before providing assistance but should ask the following question – ‘what are we doing to make our colleagues feel more confident?’ They have a chance to participate in programs and listen to act, an environment to increase engagement and hold peaceful conversations. 

Experience in working with specially-abled people

In their experience they have found organizations breaking myths of what is possible and not possible. It is always better to involve people with disabilities into the process of bringing change. Hire the person who is suitable for the job and give it to them. Hire for talent first. 

Run through a lot of sensitization and awareness workshops on basic topics such as ‘what are the different disabilities.’ to help people understand disabilities better. There is a need for education and how to make people feel included and worthy. 

Creating an environment of authenticity is important. 

What inclusive practices can we include for hiring? 

Get started with the basics and as you keep learning through the ecosystem evolve your tools accordingly. Keeping your mind open, make sure you are ready to accept all kinds of challenges. Don’t assume that you are providing help and don’t force yourself on other people. 

Don’t treat the specially-abled differently from other people. People with disabilities do not need sympathy but rather empathy. 

It is a long marathon and it is not easy to implement such initiatives within organizations. 

How to create an inclusive culture for differently abled people to bring out their fullest potential in the workplace?

The problem is not how to wipe out differences but how to unite with the differences intact. – Rabindranath Tagore 

It is important to consider how we position our HR leaders as change champions in the organization because they play a huge role in changing the organization’s culture. 

It is important that CSI Programs tie in accessibility to companionship to trust to acceptance and much more. 

Offering help is good but you should understand the need for it first. Assess the emotional need and create awareness within the workplace. Improving the infrastructure and bringing the assistive technology to the workplace is an important element in this initiative. Giving the right opportunities to the right people through a thorough job analysis is important rather than hiring at random based on the ability of the individual. 

It;s all about celebrating differences and acknowledging it and it’s about creating a space for all differences where everyone can thrive and survive. 

What are the common biases that people have while hiring People with Disabilities?

  • Bucketing people with disabilities – People with disabilities tend to get bucketed into mild, moderate, severe and profound depending on the degree of their disability. 
  • You need to do a skill fitment matrix rather than looking at the disability and assessing whether it fits the job role. 
  • The unconscious bias due to lack of knowledge can be squashed through awareness and study of the disabilities. 
  • Performance benchmarking is very important and the employees should be fairly evaluated and appraised. 

What are the pitfalls and challenges when hiring people with disabilities?

  • When we start something it is important to start with an ‘accessibility/inclusivity first approach’, otherwise it becomes a ‘problem’ you are trying to fix. 
  • Create an inclusive environment through internal training.
  • Continuous mentoring and being open to being mentored. 
  • Hire people with disabilities as equals.  
  • Keep an open mind to what people with disabilities can achieve. 
  • Be ready to learn and adapt and be curious. 

uExcelerate – a Digital Leadership Coaching Platform

uExcelerate can help you seamlessly integrate a coaching culture within your organisation. Whether you want to develop your coaches internally or hire them externally, uExcelerate can be one stop solution for all your coaching needs. . 

uExcelerate is a SaaS platform enabling organizations to scale coaching and build sustainable coaching cultures to foster personalized talent development for their  employees.

 The platform offers holistic, customized solutions to democratize your coaching requirements for modern organizations in two ways:

The Coaching Platform: For your internal coaching requirements, our platform enables organizations to launch their on-demand end-to-end coaching programs by onboarding your Manager or Leaders as Internal Coaches and team members as Coachees, thereby building a coaching culture within the organization.

It allows you to build and scale up the coaching practice to all levels of your organisation and helps you build coaching capabilities within the organisation. Not only that, we can also help you build your internal coaching capabilities with ease. 

 The platform functionality includes:

  • Cloud Based AI Coaching Platform: Helps you create your own on-demand e-coaching engagements. Designed to manage your employee coaching lifecycle and allowing easy integration of a coaching culture in your organization. 
  • Democratize Coaching: uExcelerate democratizes coaching by offering multiple types of coaching options such as one-on-one coaching, team coaching and group coaching.
  • Intuitive Features: Easy Set up; Multiple Program Management; On-board Internal Coaches and employee; Digital Coaching tools, Session Planning & Scheduling; Integrated live video sessions; Action Planning & Goal Setting Scalable and location agnostic, Data analytics and Reports
  • The Coach Marketplace: uExcelerate provides access to a curated coach marketplace with over a hundred coaches from around the world for you to choose from. All the coaches on the platform are experienced, certified and specialized in their fields of knowledge.

The Coaching Marketplace: For your external coaching requirements, our platform connects organizations to a pool of experienced & certified external Coaches from our curated marketplace that enables employees to achieve their personalized transformation, leading towards  tangible organizational goals. 

So if you or the people in your organization are looking for a niche/specific coaching need,  wherein internal coaches may not be suitable, you can use our marketplace of 200 coaches to get the right-fit coach  that will work for you and your organization.

  • Our AI powered Coach – Coachee Matching platform helps you find and choose the coach that fits your needs best. 
  • All the coaches on the platform are experienced, certified and specialised in their fields of knowledge.
  •  All the coaches are certified from reputed organisations, with a minimum of 5 years of leadership experience in their field of work and at least 500 coaching hours under their belt. 
  • The coaches are selected to ensure that they can help you with all your problems and help you grow into a better version of yourself. 

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