Disability Justice (Video)

Hello, and thank you for tuning in to Disability Justice: Supporting Community Members with Visible and Invisible Disabilities in the Workplace. This Learning and Development webinar is one of a series of panels by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or ODEI for short.

The ODEI is located within the division of Social Responsibility and Inclusion an operational support area that serves an integral role in advancing Dallas College's institutional commitment to inclusion, equity, and belonging for all people. I am Dr. Jasmine D. Parker, Institutional Senior Diversity Leader for Dallas College and Senior Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dallas College is committed to highlighting topics that will advance our knowledge and understanding to bring about greater inclusion, community-based belonging and care. An aspect of this work is the centering of history and social events that have shaped the lived experiences of our communities and its members. This month, our office is shining a light on the spectrum of disability by acknowledging and speaking of the various ways our society and its systems are catered to able-bodied people.

We are amplifying the voices and visibility of community members of ability difference, including physical and visibly disabled community members and their advocates. Greater visibility and platform sharing are but two ways to ensure that those historically excluded or overlooked have opportunities to engage in power and demand equity alongside those who are similarly or desperately impacted by exclusionary practices. Today, we are doing this by offering our platform to those living and advocating alongside those with disabilities. Important to note is that disability has no look or group identity. Disability spans every community. It is also true that a person may or may not have a physical impairment, though they may have a diagnosed neurodiverse disability like ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety, or several other ability differences. As our society continues to experienced turmoil, the number of people living with a disability of any kind will continue to increase. Providing equity and accommodations, modifications and universally designed environment and resources will be an imperative.

To kick off this timely conversation I am pleased to introduce Senior Director of Campus Administration for the Mountain View Campus, Mrs. Susana Perez, who will be moderating our panel discussion. Susana was born in Mexico City and considers herself lucky to have been raised with a bi-national, bicultural, and bilingual perspective. She is a proud first-generation college graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where she received her Bachelor's degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish.

She also holds a Master's degree in Human Relations and Business from Amberton University, and will soon be Dr. Perez, as she is completing her doctoral studies in Higher Education Policy and Leadership at Southern Methodist University. She has had rich experiences and PK12 environments, most recently being part of the founding team that brought Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep to Pleasant Grove in 2014.

Welcome, Mrs. Perez. Thank you, Dr. Parker for the introduction. Before we begin the discussion, I'd like to thank and introduce each panel member for being here today for this mean meaningful discussion. Ms. Dalia Blell is a licensed Clinical Social Worker supervisor. She has over 20 years experience in higher education through various roles and educational institutions in Michigan, Connecticut, and Texas. She's a first-generation college graduate who serves as a professional counselor and training lead at Dallas College. Her career includes experiences in college and university student mental health services, community mental health, crisis centers, disability services, foster care and adoption services, and school social work services. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Science from UT RGB, and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Ms. Keysha Hopkins is the founding director of Accommodation and Accessibility Services at Dallas College. Ms. Hopkins has over 15 years of higher education experience specifically working with college students with disabilities. She has previous experience working with individuals with a variety of disabilities at Nexus Drug Rehab and Dallas Metrocare.

She's a member of the Collin College IEP Advisory Committee and Ms. Hopkins received her undergraduate degree in ... re Rehabilitation Studies and her graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Dr. Rebecca Tuerk has 28 years of professional experience working with people with disabilities. Dr. Turks career has been comprised of serving as a medical social worker. classroom educator, K12 administrator, Director of Disability Services, Dean of Students, Dean of Academic Success and Retention, and Title IX Administrator. She currently serves as the Senior Director of Employee Relations with direct oversight of ADA accommodations for employees at Dallas College. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, a Master's degree in Education, and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Texas A&M University Commerce. Dr. Carlos Cruz has over 14 years of leadership management in student affairs, learning development, grant programs, operational goals, and strategic planning.

Dr. Cruz oversees the counseling, health services and basic needs areas of Dallas College and facilitates partnerships between Dallas College, four-year institutions, employers, non-profit organizations, and community partners. Dr. Cruz holds a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Change in Leadership from University of Southern California, a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. Panelists, thank you for your participation.

Panelists, thank you for your participation. We will open the discussion focusing on supporting community members with invisible disabilities in the workforce. The National Disability Independence Day commemorates the American with Disabilities Act signing on July 26th, 1990. This law resulted in breaking down barriers that individuals with disabilities did and continue to experience every day. In this country, common barriers such as closed captioning, automatic doors, enlarged and accessible restroom stalls, became more widely adopted than prior to ADA signing. Yet, these are only a few of the ADA laws overall impact. In your opinion, how far have we come with this issue and what are the other accommodations that our nation, states and localities should also ensure? our nation, states and localities should also ensure? [Ms. Dalia Blell] Well, I can start. I'm a clinical social worker so I'm going to stay within my scope of practice and expertise. and I do believe we've come a long way for accommodations with, for individuals with visible disabilities. Unfortunately, we're still looking at what other accommodations we can offer as they share more what their experiences are like. in higher education.

However, I think we have a long ways to go to break barriers for individuals with invisible disabilities specifically, psychiatric illnesses mental health conditions. People don't, you know, those are invisible. We can't see them. and most people don't share that, that's happening within their life. And we don't know what kind of accommodations they really need to be successful in the workplace and for students to be able to fully participate in the learning environment. [Ms. Susana Perez] Great. [Ms.Keysha Hopkin] And I agree. I think we have come a long way. You know if we think back to the early 1900s people with disabilities were thought of as - there was a stereotype.

They were monsters. in the back closet.

They were kept in the ... They were in circus acts. So I feel like we have come a long way to help break the stereotypes. Movies, of course, we think back in 1900 movies even the way a person with a disability was portrayed in those movies was usually not in a positive way. So we have movies now and of course I can't - CODA, the little guy [Troy Kotsur] that just won the Oscar and he was completely deaf. So I think we are moving in the right direction, but there's so much more work to be done. And I think we need more positive movies and people speaking out. And I like all of the focus on mental health awareness now especially in the black and brown communities, because it's always been something that we kind of kept ourselves. [Ms. Susana Perez] so stigmatized communities of color. Exactly. [Dr. Carlos Cruz] And I would jump off of that with the creation of the development of the Student Care Network here at Dallas College. We're being intentional with understanding the complexities that all of our students bring to our diverse student body. And understanding the mental health stigmas that could be a plaguing student or how they break You know, the barrier of coming forward and disclosing that. that cultural contexts sometimes gets lost and we provide our case managers and provide staff and personnel - to have those intentional conversations in private and in confidence. So knowing that as Dallas College we're intentional with bringing that resource and breaking a barrier for their success, is really important. [Ms. Keysha Hopkin] Like I mentioned earlier, I'm, i'm very excited about this, this workshop or this presentation in particular because... disability is often not discussed at Dallas College. So for them to bring it in the forefront I really appreciate that. You know, we have are, you know, if we talk about cultural - we have our Asian Awareness Black History Month, LGBTQ. So I think that we should do more workshops on people with disabilities. Yeah. [Ms. Susana Perez] Dr. Turk, anything you'd like to add? I think we have made great strides. The foundation has been set. People understand the need for access in most situations. We still have challenges with that, right, physical access, even in some instances, depending on how old the building is or things of that nature. But I think what could be very beneficial is if we start focusing more on programs to incentivize access. For instance, just recently I saw a snippet on the news about Envision. It's a company that's collaborating with the 311 operators and they are, they're... they serve people with visual impairments and so these people that are working with Envision are getting to work as 311 operators in this collaboration. Have you seen it? So these are some astounding statistics like 150 thousand people are visually impaired or blind in the state of Texas, and 70% of those people are unemployed, right? So I see a real need for the government to focus on how can we bridge some of those gaps in the workforce, right? What abilities do you bring that can actually serve the essential functions of a role and have a position because we're still excluding those individuals from the workforce. [Comments] Definitely... [Ms. Susana Perez] Yeah, very good point Can invisible disabilities or hidden disabilities are defined as disabilities that are not immediately apparent and can include physical, mental, or neurological conditions that impacts movement sensors and activities. Please share some invisible disabilities that come to mind when thinking about disability that some employees may face in the workplace, in which individuals which may, which some individuals may considered to be, not considered to be disability.

What are some accommodations that can be made for some of these hidden disabilities? [Ms. Dalia Blell] Well, I'll jump on that in regards to mental health and psychiatric disabilities? You know, they're a dynamic really in the college setting because they're so common and misunderstood. So the National Institute of Mental Health says that one in five people experience a mental health condition during their lifetime. So that means one of us has probably experienced one.

I know I have. And that one in four knows of someone who is experiencing a mental health condition. However, people don't know what those conditions are. Some that are covered under the ADA are for example, anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. There's accommodations for individuals if they feel safe enough to request them. Of course, students tend to request accommodations so much more than employees, I believe, and accommodations vary. They could be, for example, frequent reminders to submit work - to to frequent reminders about meetings, maybe breaks when they're needed, a quieter environment.

Some people may need to use noise, noise reduction devices because of all of the activity in the setting, that they're very hypersensitive. and so that agitates, aggravates their anxiety.

So they're not accommodations that are really costly to think, when you think about it. However, they are accommodations that are noticeable by other individuals and that's part of the, I think, the issue regarding people not asking for those kinds of accommodations. [Ms. Keysha Hopkin] Yeah. And we think about something like chronic health, I mean chronic pain, or persons with diabetes. They may need frequent breaks at work. Their colleague may see them like "she's always going to walking" but it's because I have to go to the restroom or I have to go to the nurse to check my insulin or I need to go I need to have a snack and my office, you know, those things, those are accommodations and invisible disabilities that I think people don't consider a disability. [comment] Right.

[Ms. Susana Perez] Anything with the students or the Student Care Network? [Dr. Carlos Cruz] Well, no, I think that, that's to Dalia and the rest of the group's point is that, we look at invisible disabilities in a variety of different aspects. But sometimes our students may not see that as an invisible disability or even consider it, so as we have conversations with them and understanding oh well, have you gotten your eyes checked? Because even though we're being visually impaired, they're like, well, I haven't had glasses since I was five, because I don't have health insurance right. So how can we get them? connected to the appropriate eye doctor so they can get their eyes checked and then have maybe contact lenses or free glasses, right? All of those aspects come into place. Because it could be an invisible disability for them that will enhance their ability to do better in the classroom. And I think that's also something that we want to inform our employees as well. What I've noticed is some individuals are afraid to disclose certain things because in their past, employee opportunities they've been discriminated against or they've been put in a position where they have to pick and choose what they can disclose. So having a very open dialogue with our employees and with our students in regards to what they need to be successful is very important, but that comes on our supervision and our leadership styles and how we can create an environment in which they can feel open to disclose what may be an issue. And I think we all move to the virtual environment. That virtual environment definitely created certain instances where some individuals may or may not have known that they had some sort of disability. And even when we talk about desk that are ergonomically, an advantage to that employee is also important are the type of chair that they use, right? So those important aspects are really, I'm at the forefront of how we move forward. Not just an empowering our students, but also employing empowering our workforce so they can be successful in what our mission and goal is here at the institution. Dr. Turk is if the employee is identifying with them themselves, probably an invisible disability, what would be their first step in reaching out for some accommodations? So the first step would be to reach out to human resources. So there is a SharePoint site for employee relations that has a link that they can go to to request accommodations. So they just submit that form and request accommodations and we reach out and provide them the information in the forums that they'll need to complete for us to get started from that. And I'll just go ahead and go through the process so that it's there for everyone to understand once they submit their documentation and a Form explaining their needs. We review that to determine if we have enough information to then move into the interactive process. If we don't have enough information, we may request additional information at that time, but then it's very important that we go through the interactive process. We determine what are the essential functions of their role, what are their needs in regards to a reasonable accommodation? And we work with the supervisor and the employee to facilitate a discussion about what is going to meet the needs of the employee, but also ensuring that they are fulfilling the essential functions of their role. And so it often becomes a very creative process in my opinion, you need to ask a lot of questions. You need to understand the scenario, their work environment, the space, the things they do every day in their role. And then be creative about how can we better help you do this? How can we better help you do that? So it's really about working together through the interactive process to come up with a reasonable accommodation that meets their needs as well as their units functions. Great. Well, I can share my personal experience was asking for an accommodation. Dallas College, so I have a hearing impairment, so I wear hearing aids. And when we were during COVID and we were asked to return to work in person. I was one of the first individuals to be asked to return to work to provide mental health services to students. And so we had to provide services behind plexiglass course and wearing mask. And because of my hearing aids, it was really challenging to hear well, so I had to order this Bluetooth microphone right? Immediately. I had to get it pretty quickly because it was like two weeks and you're you're you're headed to work. And I submitted documents after the fact, unfortunately, but they were still acceptable. And it took it took awhile to get reimbursed for the device. But Dallas College did it at because they understood that this was really essential for me to be able to do my job isn't to run. Great. Fear is a major reason why people with disabilities invisible or otherwise don't do, don't disclose them. Those who are already employed may be afraid of opening themselves up to disability, stereotypes, discrimination, harassment, and the possibility of the relationships with coworkers changing based on their disability status or a combination of these concerns, how do we best debunk stereotypes that lead to fear? We really have to stand up to stereotypes. We really have to speak and act on behalf of people that we care about. We have to be really comfortable with being okay about talking about your disability. For example, I'm okay about sharing about my microphone that doesn't record, so I always show that disclaimer. But I'm also really comfortable with talking about mental health that I, myself have gone through some challenges because that's the only way they were gonna be able to destigmatize mental health and to be able to get people to be sensitive when people are sharing their lived experiences, to be not judgmental about it, to be open about it, and to know about resources. Know how to, how do you ask for accommodations at work? How do you connect the student to the accessibility office? And choosing to be an ally, advocate or an activist. It doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot of time doing those things, but it does mean that you speak up like, man, I do it in a quiet manner sometimes and sometimes I do it very active. For example, I'm wearing toms Shoes. This organization, they donate 1 third of their profits to organizations and programs and grants for mental health resources. So you can be very loud about it. You know, when you hear somebody making a comment that's rude or they're like using mental health as adjectives that are stigmatizing, right? To be able to quietly say to them like, you know what you're saying and doing really impacts people with disabilities and it creates alienation and fear. It's great. Yeah, and I think it goes back to having an environment in which people can speak freely. And that goes with a team environment and really leadership and empowering it and having the ability to stand up even when, you know, someone may be saying something wrong. And having a crucial or critical conversation saying, Hey, Dr. Turk, I heard you say this. It just wants you to be aware. Sometimes individuals may not be aware of their surroundings or what they're saying and how that can impact another person with that fear. Someone could be talking about something in general or joking around, but they don't know how they impact others until they've been they've been approached with a conversation like, Hey, that could have been a little offensive. But I think now within our environment and how we work with our employees and understanding what's gonna be important for their success. That's the expectation that I believe is the first conversation you have with any employee that you either bring onboard the institution or other that you inherit, right? So as I think about my experiences with everyone and having daddy has been part of my team and say, how do we assist you? How do we provide the best support? Those are important aspects of someone feeling comfortable and then really breaking down that barrier of the guards that they've always held up. And sometimes you really just have to walk the walk and talk the talk because you can be doing one thing and another space and then in another meeting doing something else. But being an advocate for anyone knowing that someone may have offended somebody, making sure that you bring it to their attention. So they are more intuitive how they are providing that conversation or what they're saying in the workplace. I think that's really important. What you just shared. And I think we have to really be cognizant of the fact that sometimes people are very insensitive or not even realizing that what they're saying is possibly discriminatory, especially for people with disabilities. They don't even realize it. So it's about having that conversation in a way that you're very understanding and open to them not really realizing, right, instead of just being completely offended that they are what may be ignorant to knowing what to say or not say. So I think being open to saying, hey, you know, that's actually not appropriate to say that this can be seen as very offensive or discriminatory in nature. Because a lot of people, there's a lot of fear sometimes that surrounds people when they work with people with disabilities and they're not familiar with correct with that. And I think it's important for you to just realize that and it's not always ill intention, right? When they do things. I think more exposure of scenarios like you just express like you requesting an accommodation and how you went through it and even students sharing those stories like little, little mini PSAs like, you know, I went through the accommodation process and it really helped me be successful at a, B, C, or D. I think all of these and not just that, but then people that are out there in the workforce and having successful, wonderful lives and sharing their, their special abilities. Or if we want to call it a disability, right? And how they've been successful. We even at its former institutions, I've worked at bringing people into to speak that are highly successful, people that are functioning every day with disabilities that are extremely successful individuals. I think that helps break the stigma a little bit. I'm always consistently training about stereotypes and how that impacts not just people with disabilities, but a lot of different people. So yeah, and I think I like with everyone took touched on. And it goes back to educating yourself. Like I think we have to end others and others. Yeah, so if you know, then you can share it with others. I always tell people to choose your words, like we have to be intentional with what? You know. Of course, if you're at home and your whatever in your own space. But when you're out, even if it's walking down the sidewalk, we have to be intentional without words because it could be a person passing by. We don't know what their experiences if they have an invisible disability and then we say something, we don't know how it's going to affect that person. So I think we have to choose your words wisely and educate ourselves so we can educate others, like he said, without judging them because they may not know. They've done. I had a friend that takes me to other day and he was like some of them, some nother the person was handicapped and I was like, let me tell you why we don't use that word anymore. A mediums like, Oh my gosh, I should have known better, blah, blah, you know. So it wasn't like me jumping on him or judging you. He was like, Thank you so much. I need to make sure that, you know, right. Yeah.

Moving from even thinking like a good spin off or a next session could be like appropriate etiquette for people with disabilities. I always used to do training on when I searched. It was very important and very enlightening to people. Yes. Yeah. I think as we look at the type of professional development that we have, I know we go through an accessibility video, but I think it can be more comprehensive. But not knowing how accessibility services impacts not just our students but our employees, but how we as an institution are being intentional with our words. How we create an environment that is encompassing of everyone and anyone here at Dallas County? So education is very important. In what ways can a more inclusive environment helped to promote inclusion rather than isolating or a sense of othering based on ability, status, invisible, or visibly disabled among employees and students at Dallas College. And how do we begin to ensure equality for all? I kinda think about what you just said about the accessibility training. The training we have online. It talks about online accessibility, which is important. But there's so much more there is to understanding disability and accessibility. So I think if we had a training that curb cutouts that is not only helping a person in a wheelchair, but it may be helping the person who sprung their ankle this morning at the gym or hurt their knee? I think mom with a stroller or exactly. So I think our training we need to be more intentional with our training and broaden our topics. Again, the language that we use. If we're using the right language, a language, then it's inclusive of all people. Show people with disabilities in our media and our social media photographs on our website. It's usually always a person in a wheelchair. That's always our person. But just be creative like you mentioned, we have to be creative in including people with disabilities. When we have registration, include questions about accommodations. So people are like, Oh, I don't know if I can go because I don't know what they're going to have closed caption or I don't know if I'm gonna be able to get a sign language interpreter or I don't know if they're going to have the font large enough for me to read. I think if we include those type of things and it will make everyone feel included and feel like they belong. Yes, I think, you know, we're talking about focusing on our action 22 plan, which is continuous improvement culture and communication. And the more that we are vocal that's so vital to an inclusive environment. To be open and trusting, to be able to feel that if you share something, your position at Dallas College as a student or an employee is going to be safe. You know that your everyone gets stressed. Everyone has something happened in their life that's going to impact them that day. And most of the time when we asked people, How are you doing, what did they say? Fine? When really maybe they're not okay. And it's all because of stigma. It's all because of this fear of if I share that something is going on with me. It's going to impact how people perceive me and affect my functioning. Because when people perceive you a certain way, stereotypes, they tried to treat you differently. And therefore then you're not performing to the extent that you want to. So I think really including how we can be more intentional with our action. 22 planets, like Elijah was sharing some great ideas. I think one of the experiences that I've had and more specifically at my campus at Cedar Valley. Is that we are going through major phases of construction. And you talked about rats, he talked about individuals having a walk, trails, and gut get to building. One of those really highlighted the inefficiency of how we actually communicate and bringing stakeholders on the facility's process. Do we have I think everybody thinks of the disability with you brought up the either the handicapped person or the stereotype that everyone thinks you have to be in a wheelchair or a disability. But it goes further than that because the first thing was well, we have enough handicap spot. Everyone should be fine. Yes.

But how do we find the ability to ensure we have enough ramps and then we have a clear passage way for someone to go down a hill, go up a hill, let's say in a wheelchair, or they have those nice strollers. Now, there's a variety of different aspects that we think have, we're broadening that scope, but could have been a blind spot that we had going into our facilities management and construction process here at the institution. So I know that those conversations will now carry themselves as other campuses start with their construction and their buildings as they come on board. But in regards to that, education is ensuring that Dr. Turk is probably part and I know she may not think there's facilities really have to include me, but those aspects that we really didn't think about that are part of our processes moving forward. That is so true because Cedar Valley started first map view was afternoon at Mountain View. And facilities called me and said, We're having a contractors come out. Can you come? Because it's stuff that we're not thinking about. It because my thing was what if we have a blind student? And this is the route that they've been taught. And now we're late.

You can't. Yeah. And so I really appreciate the fact that they did invite us out there, look at what they were doing and being asked us for feedback, right? So I'm hoping that continues with the other campuses as well. I'm actually very experienced sitting on facilities committee because I did that at a previous institution in the role you were in Keisha. So I attended the project meeting and we went through every project and there's a lot of important details in especially with the new requirements for the audio enlarge spaces and the audio requirements that you have and other pieces. So yeah, that's I'm very familiar with. It. It makes a difference when someone from Accessibility Services or even in your role is on it's sitting at the table. When thunder duck was built at Richland, the current Director of Disability Services at the time was on the committee. And if you come to our office, you can tell that he was part of the team. I doors are wider, hallway is wider. Everyone comes like, well, yeah, offices are so big. Well, ask you to make sure that if there's a person in a wheelchair, if they have a service animal, if they haven't attended, there's enough room for everyone in those offices. So I think it's important that, you know, your office or our office is sitting at that table because facilities is not going to think they're not going to think of everything. No, they won't. And that's part of the blind spot. And I think that as we move forward with this new capital campaign, we look at what is, or what stakeholders are at the table, right? So that, that information is disseminated across the board. So as we look at, even when we look at small people, right? Do we have steps and all of our restrooms? And then thinking about it, I'm like, I don't think I've ever seen a step, but I see them at the airport because I know they have them for children where they serve the same purpose. Right. So is that something that we're missing and that's something that we need to have. I know that goes more into facilities. Those are questions that I start asking myself that I wasn't thinking about before. I was in that spot, right? Yeah. Right. And we probably need to have individuals at the table that are experiencing disability. They have to have a forum to, to speak up, to feel empowered as well. I agree. How can we better educate and support our employees about disability at work? How and in what ways can we include the insights of people with disabilities in our planning, institutional processes and infrastructure conversations. I think we have already done much of that. I definitely including them on committees and the work and the strategic planning and all of those students and employees. And of course, we can all be more informed and aware. So I'm going to brag about Dallas College Counseling and Psychological Services. We offer to Psychological First Aid trainings. We offer a Mental Health First Aid. And we offer ask, which is suicide gatekeeper training. And they're free, of course for employees and students can register as well or simply show up. In both of these trainings really focus on on educating people about mental health conditions as well as substance abuse issues and suicide prevention. So people learn the identifying signs of a mental health condition, warning signs, risk factors for suicide as well. This protective factors and about resources, resources on campus as well as off-campus that you can help connect people to. I totally support also that employees be part of wellness program and also encourage other employees to be part of that as well because that's another avenue for sharing of information and supporting others. One aspect of inclusive and equity minded environments is a concept of universal design. It's defined as the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of age, size, ability, or disability. An environment or any building product or service in that environment should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. In your perspective, what opportunities within our environment could be modified to ensure universal design for all, you know, mental health and trauma and adversity or these growing public health concerns that impact all of us. I think this is especially still being in a pandemic and collective trauma that we take. We take the initiative to be an organization that's trauma-informed. Be in a trauma-informed organization means that we, um, ask our professionals to always assume that the individual that they're interacting with has experienced some type of trauma. And so they are trained to use active listening, to collaborate and to communicate trust and openness. And this is universal inclusion. That's the design that we're moving towards, right? So we're interacting with everyone as though something has happened. And so therefore, our interactions are gonna be different and were less likely to discriminate and re-traumatize, somewhat more likely to ask and be open to hearing why someone may be reacting a certain way and to be in tune to those reactions by people and realize that that's potentially maybe former trauma. And just being more understanding. Yes, then with the universal design, we also want to be cognizant of the fact that not one-size-fits-all right. Right. Because sometimes we talk about equity and how that's across the board and how that can impact all of our students or employees. But with a universal design, we also want to be careful that we're not putting everyone into us specific box or space. And sometimes in those efforts we kind of lose the essence of what true communication and the safe space that we want to create for our community in which we serve. And then going, When I know you mentioned what things can we do is we are building new buildings and remodeling simple things like in a restrooms, the automatic water. Like when I go to other campuses on like this. And one that doesn't come up when you think about it. A person who I'm able body, it's not an issue for me, but if you have a person that may have a club hand, it may be difficult for them to turn the water own or the automatic hand dryers, the cuts and the curve, that's going to help a person like you said, the mom with the stroller, the person who has a lot of bags on them. And I like how certain movies or we just came back from Disneyland and they'll say, this rod has flashing lights with me. Yeah, blah, blah, blah. So they're alerting me that, hey, if you have this, you may not want to get on this ride because it may cause this. But then for a person that doesn't have say a seizure disorder is giving me a heads up to that. When I see those, they may cause me a headache or a migraine. So it's kinda giving everyone a heads up of what to expect. What action should we take when we witnessed an adverse reaction against an employee with hidden disabilities, given that we are aware of the disability, I think you mentioned earlier just being an ally and speaking up for anybody. But what are some other ways? Well, there's the four D's of bystander intervention.

Being direct. If you feel that it's safe enough to speak up and say, you know, what you're just saying really is not okay. And being able to. Distract if you don't feel that it's safe to say something, being able to distract and say like, you know, something's going on and say like, Can you let me know where the library is in intervening that way or the other way is to delegate. Like if you don't feel safe, if you feel like you're not the person that's able to speak up, then find somebody that can. And if that's not possible, delaying, which means you after the fact, you step in and ask that person if they're okay. So repeat that again through the four D's of bystander intervention. So it's direct, distract, delegate, and delay. That's great. I think every situation is different on how you determine right.

To handle it, right? If it's an employee and their other people around, it's very important to probably distract and deflect a little bit and then take a moment later to have a one-on-one conversation instead of a public conversation, right? But every scenario is different and how to best educate or inform and try to change behavior. Today, we have discussed supporting community members with invisible disabilities in the workforce. What concerns did we not address, which may be important for each dimension? I'm glad. I mean, I could go back to, I think maybe it was even questioned to about more invisible disabilities, some, some others that we didn't talk about, that we may just need to be cognizant of like learning disabilities and especially with employees and students, but with employees, I might actually go, Oh, I wonder if this is going on and you don't think about that and there are simple suggestions or things you can provide to your employees just in general, if you're having difficulty with your writing or communicating in written form, you can always download Grammarly, which will help you write better. Or if you can tell an employee may be easily distracted rider isn't, it wouldn't appear as easily distracted like they're having difficulty focusing or getting projects completed, then that for you as a supervisor, magnum mean, what can I do to best help you with this? If you have them in an environment where they're sitting in a cubicle in the middle of six other people. That's a very difficult environment and I myself have a huge challenge with that. I do my best to work in my office with my door closed, which can be very standoffish for people and go wiser door shut all the time. And I've seen that happen with supervised machine just goes in there and shut the door, but there could be a reason for doing that and that's assisting them and being more productive. So I just wanted to speak on that. And then also language disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders where people just have a very difficult time saying what they need to say or they don't hear it the way it needs to be heard, they process it. And just being cognitive of those things cognizant that those may be there in relation to when we're trying to communicate with employees or communicate with students, we just just trying to put it out there so everybody thinks about things like that, right? I don't think we missed anything, but this is a great opportunity for us to be at the table to have a critical conversation about the importance of what an invisible disability or disabilities in general mean to our community, the institution. So I would recommend having more professional development trainings that afford our employees to understand all the complexities that come with accessibility services, disability, invisible disability to better have a viewpoint or perception that maybe I never thought I did have something, but now that I'm learning about it, I do put my words and I'm doing backwards and forwards or I'm thinking this but I'm running something different, right? And some of us may be undiagnosed. If you know me, I'm always all over the place, right. Are you sure? So because our parents didn't think about those things, but we know we are running in circles with some people who have those types of behaviors, but we acknowledge it and we understand, well, that's just the way that person is. But the more they weren't formed, the more that we're educated, the better institution and the better of an organization that we are for community. And when people seek models across the country, when it comes to higher education and accessibility services that we are at the forefront of those practices that we instill, agreed ultimately serving our students, our staff, faculty. Exactly.

Exactly. We a few years ago we had I had a supervisor to come to me and he said, I don't know if this person has a disability. I feel like they have autism. I see this, this, this, this is what they're doing. And it frustrates everyone else in the office, right? People is short with a llama. And he said, is there any because at the time our office would go and do trainings to departments. And he said, is there a way that your office can do a training to my department on working with people with invisible disabilities. And he was like, and we'll just say it's for the students, which because we have students with invisible disabilities, because he didn't want to single out the employee. He was like, If you can just come do a training on interacting with students with invisible disabilities because I'm hoping that this person's colleagues will be like, Oh, you know what? Let me try this with him because they say it worked for a student and maybe three or four months later he came back and he was like, there's such a difference in the office now because I think it opened up the other people that like, Oh, he may. And he'd never disclose anything to his supervisor to HR. He never but the supervisor recognize that. I don't like the way everyone else is treating him. And he was trying to do coaching, but he was like, I really big, It's above what I can do it right. But it did make a difference. So I think supervisors recognizing something different with their employees and D and supporting them in a way like that to educate everyone else on the team. Thank you all so much for your input for educating everybody. Thank you everybody for watching. This has been really informative. And I have also learned a lot about invisible and visible disabilities. Thank you all for watching.