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Fostering Inclusion: Embrace Yourself and Others

Ayaka S. | Senior Assistant, Office Support | Tokyo, Japan

Originally Published: November 8th, 2023

I've never felt shame about my disabilities and the challenges they bring; it's a part of who I am. As someone who lives with intellectual impairments, ADHD, and developmental challenges this is something that affects me every day. While there are things I can't do due to my disabilities, I've learned to overcome obstacles through practice or alternative methods. Having weaknesses is universal, and there's no need for special considerations when it comes to disabilities. If you're unsure how to interact with someone with disabilities, simply ask them about what you don't know. Communication between people, regardless of disabilities, requires no special etiquette.

I always hope individuals with disabilities won't dwell excessively on their conditions. Some may carry the weight of past experiences, embarrassment, or guilt. Regardless of what happened, there are people who see the current us. By acknowledging myself, the sad or painful memories and feelings can gradually fade away.

In Dell Technologies' culture, the present and the future are what truly matter. With our current strengths, we can contribute and succeed. Everyone has their own strengths, so there's no need to force things or belittle oneself. Being myself is more than enough.

Sign Language Workshop by Japan True Ability

In addition to my trainer role, I'm part of the True Ability Employee Resource Group (ERG), supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. I'm often asked for opinions as a person with disabilities and lead event planning. I love how I contribute from my experiences and who I am.

Previously, we invited external speakers to our events. However, I had the idea of featuring a speaker from within our company who has a disability to share their perspectives. I took on the role of being the first speaker for this initiative, and to enhance engagement, I organized it as a panel discussion alongside other ERG leaders.

The event was a success, and two people came to me with questions.

The first person sought advice on effectively interacting with people with developmental disabilities when it comes to verbalize their questions. The second person expressed a strong desire to contribute and assist, despite her limited exposure to people with disabilities in her surroundings. However, I explained the importance of not rushing to offer help when it's not requested, as this can sometimes cause anxiety or panic. She found this perspective really helpful.

In a place where I can truly be myself, I've encountered various facets of me. Whether it's how my team members see me or how others from different departments perceive me, there's no single me. Diversity exists within me and evolves through interactions with others.

Since childhood, my mother told me, “Embrace others.” This includes embracing myself, others, the past, the present, and the future. No matter how things change, accepting it all and creating an organization and society that embraces everything is my aspiration.

Learn more life at Dell Technologies by visiting our stories.

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