Some tips to consider when working with a person who has Down syndrome
Today, government and private companies are moving a step ahead to inclusion. More employers are willing to hire people with disabilities. Youngsters with Down syndrome are also hired by companies which is a much needed positive change. Like every individual, people with Down syndrome are also looking into avenues where they can grow and expand their talents and skills. There are many people with Down syndrome who runs their own business. Nothing is impossible when you have a disability.
But are work places really inclusive? So when a person with Down syndrome is hired, will they be comfortable working in the environment along with other people who do not have disabilities?
People with Down syndrome are extremely loving. They put a lot of trust on their caregivers. One of the most notable things about people with Down syndrome is that they love music a lot. So it is more or less like a therapy to them. It soothes them and makes them feel better on a tough day. I know many people with Down syndrome who are doing well at workplaces. They just need to be guided and moulded well. Colleagues must make sure that they are taken care of well-Shyamashree Bhonsle, Advisor, Jagruti Palak Sanstha.
Here are some tips that you must consider when you work with a person who has down syndrome
- Include them in activities- Nobody likes to be left out during discussions and meetings at your work place. Social acceptance is important, whether you have a disability or not. So when you include them in team meetings, they feel wanted and special. This only improves their productivity and adds to the positive vibes of the workplace. If your team is heading out for lunch, you can also call them to join you.
- Take it slow- For a person with Down syndrome, it might take longer to understand what you are trying to communicate. So make sure that you slow down when communicating. They definitely understand everything that you say. But they also need time to process the information. Your communication with your colleague will only be better if you do that.
- Speak up- People with disabilities are often prone to workplace bullying. Most of the times, a person with Down syndrome will be unable to react back when they are bullied. Sometimes, they do not even understand what is happening. You have to step in to speak up for your colleague who is being bullied. So whether it is a close friend of yours or your boss, make sure that they do not mock at someone for their disability. According to the law, if you bully someone with a disability, you can be put behind bars. Remind them that.
- Respect them- It is quite common that many companies and employers under-estimate the work that a person with Down syndrome can do. At the same time, we know that a disability does not define what a person can or cannot do. Respect your colleague for the work that they do in spite of numerous challenges in their path. Try and lend them a helping hand if they need it.
Reena Vermas daughter Aditi runs her own restaurant in Mumbai. Aditi is completing three years of her journey as an entrepreneur. Verma is super thrilled by how her daughter has done well over the years.
"Initially, she used to work with me to enter data in my company. She did it with accuracy and perfection just like how a person without a disability would do it. Now, she runs her own restaurant and she does everything on her own. Right from managing the kitchen to arranging the stock and taking care of orders, Aditi reaches everywhere. I believe children with Down syndrome just needs the right guidance to do well at work", says Reena Verma.
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