There's been a quiet revolution going on at work. One that no-one, save me, may be noticing. I've been working at Vita for three years now and my wheelchair is well known, Joe is simply a fact of my employment - get one, get the other - as he helps me get around from place to place. When my wheelchair broke, I worked from home. When I'm away I check emails every day. My goal is that no one waits for an answer for more than 24 hours. Sometimes this makes for long evenings, but it's worth it to feel like a valued member of the team rather make that fatal drop out of the loop.
Recently our Behaviour Therapist has had horrible car accident. Now recuperating at home she wishes to be part of the team. Every part of the organization from human resources to executive director have to make decisions as to how to make her wishes possible. Slowly but surely things moved along. I've been following the emails of teams of people from the various locations where she consults have pulled together to figure out how she can best support them (she's good at that) but also how they can support her (they are good at that too).
It seemed like her temporary Visa pass into the world of disability means that she didn't have to give up citizenship in the world of work, of value, of contribution. People are beginning to understand adaption and the benefit of flexibility. The idea that she simply be sidelined wasn't ever really considered.
Workplaces can be places where all are valued and all are supported. I'm watching, from the sidelines in my wheelchair and I'm cheering them along. This, may just be, the future.