The Importance of Personality in Shaping the Disability Economy (Part II)
The eminent Austrian writer and management consultant Peter Drucker has written: “The ultimate resource of economic development is people. It is people, not capital or raw materials, that develop an economy. As we extrapolate our understanding of the evolution of disability economics, it is the connection to the broader corporate culture that must play a fundamental role in identifying this new way of thinking. by offering a broader and more diversified strategic approach.
The evolution of the disability economy is central to the lived experience of people with disabilities, however, as this new financial matrix continues to expand adding value to a larger economic engine, there is a need categorize new groupings to recognize intricacies and recognize how lived experience is identified for potential market opportunities. These details provide a new channel through which disability economics can integrate with other economic and social milieus augmenting these realities while providing a level of disruption that can introduce a type of leadership methodology for an ever-changing world. . Let’s take a closer look at what these personality categories look like in the marketplace, which helps companies better respond.
At its core, the growing disability economy is serving its consumers. Whether products are specifically designed to meet the needs of everyday life, from durable medical equipment to medical devices, it is the lived experience of disability that dictates wants and needs. However, it would be myopic to think that this is the only need of consumers with disabilities. Over the past decade, we have seen many organizations from Accenture, Valuable 500, Harkin Institute and many others who have presented the business case for disability as the “sleeping giant” of more than 1 billion people with global disposable income reaching $13 billion. The sheer size and scope of this consumer market alone should motivate companies to do more. What we have seen over the past few years is an increase in the number of businesses catering to the wants and needs of consumers with disabilities. Concepts such as accessibility and accommodations have been incorporated into various products and services ranging from technology to clothing. We are still in the nascent stage of this evolution, but we are beginning to see consumers with disabilities having a say in how products and services are presented to create greater access, prompting businesses to recognize the power of inclusiveness and seeing disability. The economy as a central driver of opportunity.
While consumers with disabilities are a key part of the booming disability economy, another feature of its continued growth is the role of entrepreneurs with disabilities. In recent years, as the business case around disability has grown, the role of the disabled entrepreneur has become more vital than ever. Whether it’s products and services specifically designed for the disabled consumer, accessible travel, adaptive clothing, or more, the value of the disabled entrepreneur will have a profound effect not only on business creation but also on the future of work. We are currently in this fluid period where business life is changing, and the power of disabled entrepreneurs is not only expanding the disability economy, but disrupting the rules of work as we know them. It is their very lived experience that can set the roadmap to a more effective way of engaging in work.
Disabled content creators are an offshoot of disabled entrepreneurs. The social media platform has created opportunities for greater representation and the ability for people with disabilities to be heard and seen in ways that would never have been possible. This new generation of content creators offers a mix of art, creativity, advocacy and more that will reframe the very understanding of disability in a global society.
Finally, it is important to mention another vital element of personality within the growing disability economy, the value of allies. These are often friends, family members and others within the business community who see not only the importance but also the profitability of building an inclusive business environment. Realizing that disability needs to be part of an organization’s future business strategy opens the doors to a myriad of possibilities.
Appreciating the basic mechanisms of personality within the disability economy allows organizations to take the next step not only to realize the value of this lived experience, but offers a way to expand the very definitions of disability by as a central idea of human variability. Rather than seeing disability as otherness, it should be recognized as part of the human experience that offers solutions to the challenges ahead of us to provide the ultimate added value.