Blog: How to be a workplace ally to a colleague who has Down’s syndrome
How to be a workplace ally to a colleague who has Down’s syndrome
We first saw this great guide on how to be a workplace ally colleague who has Down’s syndrome a couple of months ago and we’re delighted that the creators at totaljobs have given us permission to share it with our members and followers.
The five-step guide was created to mark World Down’s Syndrome Day
and it aims to educate people about Down’s syndrome, and encourage workplaces to create a more inclusive environment. The five-steps in summary are:
1. Educate: Learn more about the condition
Educating yourself about Down’s syndrome is the best starting point. By understanding the genetic condition and arming yourself with knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to support your colleague.
2. Include: Make your colleague feel welcome
Social inclusion in the workplace is important for all employees, and colleagues living with Down’s syndrome are no exception. Be their support system in the workplace and offer to mentor them in tasks to ensure they have all the help they need.
3. Speak up: Empower your colleague
People with learning disabilities can be more vulnerable to workplace bullying. Make it your business to ensure that there’s zero tolerance to discrimination or abusive behaviour.
4. Explain: The unwritten rules
While most employers will dedicate time to inducting new starters in the formal rules and regulations of the workplace, it’s often the unwritten rules that make the difference. It’s the little things that matter, for example which mug to use, where to make a cup of tea etc.
5. Don’t underestimate: Respect your colleague
Although some adults with Down’s syndrome may need additional training or time to get used to their working environment, do not underestimate their work abilities.
The five-step guide was accompanied by five case studies of employees with Down’s Syndrome and their co-worker (workplace ally) written by Down’s Syndrome Association Employment Manager, Veronica Mulgena.
Five ways to be a workplace ally to a colleague with down's syndrome (pdf 1.51MB)