We also talked briefly about the ASK model, implemented by our partners in Hong Kong, which is a response that renews the commitment of visually impaired employees to the temptations of big resignation.
Over 33 years, Dialogue in the Dark has had the great virtue, worldwide, of boosting the inclusion of visually impaired people in the workplace. But that is only a small part of the mission. What is really essential to the inclusion of people with disabilities is how to involve, engage and develop them.
Dialogue in the Dark (HK) Fondation (DIDF) has, since its inception in the Dialogue network, stood out as an organization that works hard to develop its visually impaired staff, involving them in the development of the organization and investing in their engagement.
But the Covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge that Dialogue in the Dark HK had never imagined. Nonetheless, the first strategy was similar: involve and engage their staff with disabilities and co-create together the ASK model. ASK stand for:
A = ATTITUDE
From the very beginning of the crisis, the make-or-break dilemma was transparently explained to all staff and invited to adopt a “fight together” attitude. The DIDF moto became “adapt to the new normal with excellent service to survive.” To put this moto into action, teams of visually impaired employees were formed, and each team was asked to come up with 3 areas of excellence and learning areas to implement in this crisis.
Five action categories were identified:
- Disruptive innovation
- Ongoing sustainability
- New horizon
- Empowered ambassadors
- WOW experience.
Attitudes related with these action categories were enhanced by training.
S = SKILLS
There is no better way to create engagement than developing new skills. A series of skill-based trainings was provided in accordance with the 5 action categories e.g.:
- Online and technical skills for online workshops and digital marketing: Microsoft Team, Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn Basics, Online presentations, KOL, storytelling, creative power point, studio equipment handling…
- WeCare training: listening skills, caring skills, and calling skills.
- Donation and fundraising training: proposal writing, fund-raising, donation strategies And donation systems.
And other skills such as sales and customer service and coaching skills.
K = KNOWLEDGE
Involvement of the staff is nurtured through knowledge. Interest is raised when you get information and understanding. Therefore, knowledge-based training was provided for the DIDF staff with disabilities in order to create involvement in different areas of the organization.
Some of the knowledge shared with the DIDF staff was:
- Governance and Policies
- Child protection
- New systems and Infrastructure
- Customer focus
- Innovative design
The ASK model is a valuable learning for the DiD network around the world but also for any diversity-focused organization to strengthen the D&I commitment during crisis times.