This summary is provided by IPR based on the original report in Industrial and Organizational Policy
This report details research-based strategies that allies can take to support colleagues with disabilities in the workplace. Literature states that nonstigmatized allies in the workplace are effective at changing attitudes surrounding stigmatized invisible disabilities. There are research-based supportive behaviors that ally coworkers can engage in to benefit employees with invisible disabilities, including:
1.) Receiving disclosures with empathy and understanding. Allies should approach disclosures with a sense of empathy rather than sympathy and should make sure they are not reacting to disclosures based on socially held negative stereotypes.
2.) Providing social support. Allies can socially support their colleagues with disabilities by integrating them into social networks, helping them positively accept their identities, and seeking out/fighting for accommodations in the workplace.
Coworkers of individuals with invisible disabilities may also be an ally through advocacy behaviors, including:
1.) Educating peers. Research has shown that gaining knowledge about disabilities through awareness and training programs can lead to more favorable attitudes toward persons with disabilities.
2.) Advocating for workplace accommodations. Allies can encourage their employers to integrate workplace accommodations for employees with invisible disabilities. However, allies should be careful doing so, to make sure they do not intentionally “out” a coworker with a disability.
3.) Confronting instances of prejudice. Allies can confront inappropriate reactions to disclosures and can correct assumptions made about the capabilities of individuals with disabilities based on harmful stereotypes.
4.) Calling for better organizational policies. Organizations may adopt more proactive and supportive policies if employees advocate for them.
Read more to learn about strategies that allies can take to help peers with invisible disabilities in the workplace.
Full report here.