Facts for decision makers
About 600 years ago – a Dutch chap by the name of Desiderius Erasmus said ‘Prevention is better than a cure’ and those six words are at the heart of what InvisAbility offers.
While we were developing our products and services, we spoke to many organisations to find out what might stop them from investing in inclusion. Common responses were that it is too hard, too expensive or too niche.
The good news is – none of that is true.
The bad news is – now you’ve got no reason not to be an inclusive organisation.
We addressed the five most common ”yeah but” rationalisations we heard from decision makers.
Invisible disabilities are a small, niche segment
There are over 736,000 Australians with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay and other intellectual delays. Our research indicates over 78% of these people will have at least one parent or carer who assists them. This means there are likely to be over 1.2 million Australians with a deep, personal connection to invisible disability.
To put this in perspective, there are only 175,000 Australians who use wheelchairs, or a total of 350,000 Australians, including carers.
This makes invisible disability a huge, overlooked customer segment, with very distinct needs and substantial purchasing power.
The likelihood of a complaint or media incident is small
There were over 5,800 complaints made to the Australian Human Rights Commission relating to the Disability Discrimination Act in 2017. 1 in 3 complaints made are related to the provision of goods and services.
Emirates found themselves at the centre of global media backlash after forcing a teen with autism off a flight, despite medical certification. Jetstar made national headlines when staff did not allow a passenger with autism to board with an assistance dog. Woolworths recently came under fire after falsely accusing a customer with autism of stealing. As the leading media voice for autism in Australia, we are frequently asked to comment when these mishaps occur, far more often than we’d like!
It’s too difficult and expensive to make the changes
80% of people with a disability will not provide feedback so services can improve. This lack of knowledge leads to lost sales. However, improving your customer experience for people with invisible disabilities is far less expensive and time consuming than you think. Not only that, it’s a mutually beneficial process for both you, your existing and potential customers. Businesses don’t have to tackle everything at once. In fact, our research indicates a non-judgemental attitude from staff is the most impactful way of making a difference.
How will we ensure staff embrace changes?
73% of employees who say they work at a “purpose-driven” company are engaged. For employees who do not work at a purpose driven company, the number of employees saying they are engaged drops to just 23%. Diversity and inclusion are increasingly important issues to consumers. Furthermore, the non PC style of our training provides staff with the opportunity to ask any question they like. This results in your teams having the confidence to manage themselves in challenging circumstances and with challenging people for the rest of their career – a highly valuable skill.
How will we gain new customers through this investment?
When organisations are left in the dark about the needs of diverse customers, there are a high proportion of lost sales. In fact, 1 in 3 diverse customers have ceased a transaction due to being treated disrespectfully.
More than just walking away from a sale, these customers were also significantly more likely to actively avoided engaging with a particular organisation as a result of a negative experience due to their disability. Indeed, they were 3 times more likely to engage in avoidance behaviours.
Various studies over the years show that unhappy customers are much more likely to be very vocal about a poor experience. Social media in particular, provides a powerful platform for people to share their stories to help others living with invisible disabilities – and it’s a win for organisations if they are sharing positive ones!