At AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd., also known as AXA Life Japan (ALJ), an interactive workshop called Disability Inclusion Program (DIP) is conducted at least once a year. This year it was held in July with 30 participants from various departments.
Understanding strengths and challenges of people with disabilities is very important for non-disabled and disabled workers to have smooth communication while working side-by-side. DIP features wheelchair users, persons with visual impairments and persons with hearing impairments and discusses basic characteristics and better ways to communicate with persons with these disabilities.
Instructors are colleagues with disabilities, so the participants are able to hear real stories from real people. Through some activities, the participants learn reading lip movement can be challenging even for people with hearing impairments, but speaking with gestures may be understood better. They also learn that verbal communication is important for colleagues with visual impairments and assumption can be an obstacle to deliver correct image while describing pictures.
After each disability is described, the participants have an imagination exercise. They are asked to imagine having a certain disability and try to manage some daily tasks in their image. After the exercise, they discuss what becomes barriers for them to carry out these tasks and learn how people with disabilities manage them.
This program is a good learning opportunity for the instructors since good presentation and interaction skills and time management ability are required to be the instructor for running this program. Rehearsal sessions are provided for less experienced instructors.
DIP provides merits for both disabled and non-disabled workers. Not only teaching about disabilities, this program provides participants to have chance to see things from a bit different point of view, and the instructors with disabilities have chance to increase presentation skills and visibility among the coworkers.