Lately I've seen a lot of people with disabilities, PWD organizations and organizations that serve us thanking various organizations and businesses for hiring people with disabilities. I think that's wrong. Here's why.
Thanking a business for hiring people with disabilities places us in the inferior position of having to be grateful for the basic things, the crumbs that are given us. It's as if we ought to be grateful that some business deigned to hire us poor pitiful disabled people. It's as if we're Oliver Twist, or maybe Tiny Tim saying, "please sir, hire us", then, like Uncle Tom, saying, "thank you massa, thank you so much fuh hiring us"!
Why should we thank businesses for hiring us? That's what they're supposed to do if we're qualified for the position that we're seeking. Thanking business for hiring people with disabilities implies that they're doing us some kind of favor, that somehow we weren't qualified for the position that we're seeking, so they're doing us a favor by hiring us. It's as if we're seen as something different, other or inferior, rather than someone who is an asset to the company, who brings something valuable to the table.
Why do we people with disabilities feel that we have to do this? No other group does this. I've never heard of Blacks or Black organizations doing this. No women's group or Latino organization has thanked businesses for hiring them. I have yet to see an LGBTQ organization swooning and thanking companies for hiring them.
Do we, as people with disabilities feel that we have to be extra grateful to the companies that hire us because we may need some reasonable accommodations? Is it a part of being nice and polite? Must we be extra grateful lest they not hire us in the future? I think not!
We need to get out of that habit. We aren't pitiful creatures shuffling, shucking and jiving at the bosses office, cap in hand saying, "please sir, hire me". We are people with skills that businesses are looking for. We are valuable assets that companies would give anything for. We bring gifts, outlooks and many positive things to the table. It's not our fault that companies don't see that yet. Still, as businesses are coming to see the value of our community and begin hiring us, we can be happy and celebrate this in our minds and hearts, but let's not grovel, ok? It's unbecoming and unnecessary.
We're long past the days of Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim and Uncle Tom and we don't need to keep displaying that behavior and attitude. We're gifted, talented assets that any company would be very fortunate to have in their ranks!