"What is Inclusion?" A Note from Kevin Armstrong

In recent years Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or D.E.I. has become a highly used term or buzz word throughout most industries. Rightfully so, with uprising of civil unrest and policing inequality that has divided our nation. For this reason, D.E.I. is often associated with race, however D.E.I. is so much bigger than race alone. Let’s look at what it means to be truly INCLUSIVE.

Inclusion as defined by Oxford Languages is the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups. What does this mean for employment of people with disabilities?

Individuals with disabilities are usually less likely to be employed than individuals without disabilities and earn less than their colleagues with no disabilities. The primary reason for this is that employers often stigmatize people with disabilities, feeling that they lack the skills, abilities, and characteristics needed for jobs. Case studies show that workers with disabilities have a higher percentage of unemployment and under-employment, often earning less than a livable wage. COVID-19 substantially shifted the economy proving that new ideas, efforts, and leadership are needed to reshape the country and make it inclusive for all. Statistics show that businesses who have made a concentrated effort to become inclusive have seen increased revenue, more income, and higher economic profit margins. This result is because individuals with disabilities present unique talents and characteristics that benefit companies in so many ways.


Some of the benefits of an inclusive workplace are lower turnover, increased creativity and innovation, higher productivity, higher job satisfaction and morale to name a few. Inclusion creates access and access opens doors. As we enter the last half of 2022, please consider creating an inclusive workplace. At Maryland Works we believe in creating access for all, especially individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment. Our organization is proud to be embarking on our own D.E.I. journey with Rice Education Consulting (REdCon). REdCon will be providing full staff D.E.I. training and online self-paced learning modules. The goal is to increase knowledge and awareness. This will allow us to work more collaboratively, both internally and externally, as we strive to be a State-wide leader in advocacy for individuals with disabilities and a workplace that is welcoming and INCLUSIVE.  


Kevin Armstong, Director of Marketing & Training

Source: Kevin Armstrong, Director of Marketing & Training at Maryland Works