This article aims to identify the communication processes existing between organizations and their workers with disabilities, discussing the importance of building accessible relationships and the role of communication in the inclusion of these subjects in the work environment. Given the importance of the subject of the social and professional development of people with disabilities and for the construction of a more inclusive society, a research is proposed that points out the contributions that a communication professional, especially in public relations, can bring as a result of the exercise of their activity in the process of inclusion of these subjects within the organizations. For the accomplishment of this work, a case study was developed with two organizations that already have inclusion programs established. From the results obtained, one can perceive the existence of spaces of social exclusion even in inclusive processes and the importance of the use of assistive solutions as tools that help the construction of accessible communication within the organizations, in order to provide greater professional development and of the subjects with disabilities.
- Communication Accessibility,
- Public Relations and Assistive Solutions
Cet article vise à identifier les processus de communication qui existent entre les organisations et ses employés ayant des incapacités, en discutant l’importance de la construction de relations accessible et le rôle de la communication dans l’inclusion de ces personnes dans l’environnement de travail. Au vu de l’importance de ce thème pour le développement social et professionnel des personnes ayant des incapacités et pour la construction d’une société plus inclusive, on propose une recherche qui indique les contributions que les professionnels de communication, surtout ceux de Relations Publiques, peuvent apporter comme résultat de l’exercice de ses activités dans le processus d’inclusion de ces sujets dans les organisations. Pour réaliser ce travail, on a développé une étude de cas avec deux organisations qui ont déjà implémenté des programmes d’inclusion. À partir des résultats obtenus, on constate l’existence d’espaces d’exclusion social, même dans des processus inclusifs, et l’importance de l’utilisation de solutions auxiliaires comme instruments qui soutient la construction d’une communication accessible dans les organisations, afin de favoriser un développement professionnel et personnel supérieur des personnes ayant des incapacités.
- accessibilité de communication,
- relations publiques et solutions auxiliaires
Corps de l’article
For a long time people with disabilities have faced exclusion in all fields of their life, school, work, leisure, and even, in some cases, family life. Being a person with a disability represented a major obstacle to the development of people in all walks of life. Currently, the scenario for people with disabilities has changed in many ways and, although equality has not yet been achieved, accessibility has been debated in the search for a more inclusive society and in the struggle for basic rights that were previously denied to these subjects.
In this context, people with disabilities have made up a segment of society, which not only seeks to participate in society, but also to insert itself fully in all the fields in which it interacts. That is, subjects with disabilities long to have the same access conditions and opportunities as any other citizen, so that they can through their own experiences build their identity, based on particular interpretations of moments experienced in everyday life.
Although a little more inclusive, the Brazilian social context in which these subjects are inserted, is not fully adapted and therefore setting up, in many cases, spaces that exclude the rights and even the presence of people with disabilities. Because of this, it is a fact that there is still a long way to go before people with disabilities can have the same experiences, the same rights and even the same duties as others, especially considering that inclusion will only be complete when it is fully implemented in to all dimensions of the lives of these subjects.
The organizations are the scene of several social transformations that have been occurring in our society, among them the opening ̶ either by obligation of Brazilian legislation or by social responsibility ̶ for the inclusion of people with disabilities. For this protagonism that organizations assume in society ̶ for good and bad ̶ we are interested in knowing the reality of communication and relationships with people with disabilities.
Although there are laws and public policies that guarantee the access of people with disabilities to the labor market, the inclusion of these subjects is still marked by prejudice, stigma and low valuation. In this scenario, communication plays a fundamental role and helps the understanding of the space and the responsibilities of organizations facing this social issue.
Within the organizational context, the relationships established between employers and their employees are similar and, in many cases, reflections of the social exchanges established daily in the different contexts of the subjects' lives. Thus, communication within organizations is even more important, since it represents a space for the promotion of dialogue and exchange of experiences among individuals, especially in the case of employees with disabilities.
In view of this reality and the social importance of the theme, this article proposes a reflection about the communicational accessibility in organizational spaces, with the intention of contributing to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor context especially with regard to communicational accessibility, one of the fields of activity of Communication professionals.
In view of this, the objective was to understand the role of communication in the process of inclusion of people with disabilities by investigating how communication processes between organizations and workers with disabilities occur?
We conducted a case study using semi-structured interviews and direct observation as research techniques. The interviews were conducted in the year 2016, and the companies are not identified in view of the ethical procedures of secrecy adopted by the researchers.
Communication and Social Relations
Communication led to the formation of the first societies and is the source of human development, according to the way in which people relate, come together and interact. Social groups have structured themselves through the years, having the act of communicating as their own. In this same context, the first organizations appeared, although without the aspect of companies, but in the form of work niches and coexistence.
According to Kunsch (2006), organizations should be considered both within their internal framework and with regard to the broader context in which they are inserted and, according to the author, must be linked "to the environment, including social aspects, economic, political, technological, ecological, and cultural variables that greatly interfere with organizational life."
In this context, communication,
[...] as a field of knowledge is a continuous and permanent process that permeates human interactions, acting as a dialogical system with the purpose of informing, persuading, motivating and achieving mutual understanding. Since communication is essentially a social dimension, we can consider it as an indispensable cell for social systems, that is, if there is no communication, there is no social system. In this way, organizations are systems that, like any social system, are made up of communications.Ferrari, 2008, p. 78
Therefore, the communication context is intrinsic to companies, as well as to society in general, since they are formed by individuals. They relate and develop habits and ways of acting, which are gradually being incorporated and reproduced in a natural way. Organizations, like other people, need to relate and communicate, as they do not act alone. According to Grunig (2011, p. 32), "if people do not have family relations with neighbors, friends, enemies or co-workers, they would not need to communicate with others beyond themselves." In the same way, organizations interact daily, in different levels and environments.
It is precisely because they are not isolated that organizations must use communication to establish relationships with people and interest groups that somehow influence them or they are influenced by. Organizations are made up of individuals who need to communicate with each other to understand their role within that institution, as is the case of people with disabilities, the point of interest of this study. In accordance with this idea, Kunsch (2006) affirms that without this communication organizations simply would not exist, since, according to her, "an organization is a continuous communicational phenomenon" (Kunsch, 2006, 175).
Thus, when thinking about communication in organizations, it is necessary to consider the individual aspects of each person that makes up this environment, such as social and economic reality and external relations, be they family, fraternal or affective. That is, the whole context in which the subjects are inserted in to needs to be raised before assuming that there is homogeneous understanding communication.
According to Ferrari (2011), organizational communication is understood as a process that objectively, in a sustainable way, balances the vision and the mission determined by the organization and the expectations of the public with which they relate, promoting the satisfaction of both.
To understand the relationships between an organization and its employees, more objectively the labor relations given in the operating environment, it is necessary to take into account the social transformations that occurred in the nineteenth century. Therefore, the Industrial Revolution is an example, in the sense that this event brought innumerable innovative social issues to the labor context of the time. The industries, which worked with new resources, had in their favor the urban population growth, stemming from the eagerness to obtain sustenance, imposed inhuman working regimes to the workers. The labor context of the industrial era was something totally new and had as its main social problem the absence of rights to guarantee minimum favorable working conditions. These issues, among others, favored the emergence of a more submissive worker profile, a worker that was unaware of their role in the production process and that had survival as their main motivation for work.
The phenomenon of globalization brought numerous changes to the situation of the time. In addition to all the necessary and important discussion that arose about workers' rights and concessions by employers, in regards to working relationships with their employees, new technologies and facilitated access to information promoted a change in the profile of this worker. "The intellectualized work gained dimension within the organization, and individual skills and competencies became valued" (Oliveira, 2011, p. 13).
These transformations became decisive for labor relations and, undoubtedly, in the communication of the organizations with their employees. If the worker, at that time, did not understand their importance in the production process within the workspace, with globalization and the information age, they became a key part for economic progress and became part of the organization's interest, and the organization would now want to communicate with this public.
According to Kunsch (2006), "the changes brought about by the industrialization process forced companies to seek new ways of communicating with the internal public."
In this context, our interest in this study is to understand how new similar movements are currently taking place with regard to the insertion of people with disabilities into a new market that needs to be able to receive this new internal public, that is, although communications have evolved with regard to workers in general, the practice of still disregarding how the disabled worker receives and interprets the information, when it receives it, is perceived.
Work, Organizations and People with Disabilities
In Brazil, the public policies that concern subjects with disabilities are focused mainly on the school context. Only recently has the labor sphere been given more attention, counting on the support of its own policies and greater attention from the State. Public policy in the field of labor began in 1991 when the country officially published the International Labor Organization's (ILO) policy on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, based on the ideals of equal opportunities among disabled subjects and workers in general, aiming to guarantee special measures in order to achieve real inclusion in Brazil.
The most evident national policy comes from Law 8.213 of 1991, known as the "Quota Law", which guarantees that from 1% to 5% of the vacancies of private organizations with more than 100 employees to be filled by people with disabilities. Although not yet fully effective, the right to work of these individuals has been widely advocated by organizations of persons with disabilities, by national supervision, as well as by campaigns related to their inclusion in the labor context.
According to Tanaka & Manzini (2005, p. 275)
Even if your right to work is already guaranteed by law, in practice, the journey is still quite long, because there are some factors that need to be analyzed before thinking about an effective and efficient insertion of this population in the labor market. Among them, the professional and social preparation of the disabled person who is seeking the job market but also the structural, functional and social environment that will receive them as an employee, so you do not run the risk of admitting them through mere benevolence or obligation of law.
Regarding the issue of work, it is important to evaluate the organizations where the workers develop their activities, as they become inclusive when they make adaptations in the work environment or in the instruments of work to receive the disabled worker and adopt values such as diversity, equality and inclusion in their organizational philosophy.
Often, certain companies practice inclusion, albeit on a small scale, even without realizing that they are using inclusion practices (Sassaki, 2006). However, for a company to become effectively inclusive, it is important for it to broadly think about inclusiveness and to offer the same benefits and demands that it guarantees to non-disabled employees.
And to noticed that by merely inserting the disabled professional in the labor context does not guarantee the effective inclusion of the same. There must be efforts made by organizations to establish the maximum notes previously presented under the vision of Sassaki (2006). For the author,
an inclusive enterprise is therefore one that believes in the value of human diversity, contemplates individual differences, makes fundamental changes in administrative practices, implements adaptations in the physical environment, adapts procedures and instrument of work, trains all human resources in the issue of inclusion, etc.Sassaki, 2006, p. 63
Therefore, according to Ribas (2008), it makes no sense to hire people with disabilities solely because of the fact that legislation in Brazil obligates, supervises and punishes companies that do not comply with this measure. However, although many companies only do it for this reason, there is a movement in search of an effectively inclusive process, since this process of inclusion in the labor market can be a differential in the quality of life of these individuals, as research in the area has shown. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the important role that work plays in the lives of the subjects.
Work gives meaning to life, as it is a symbol of actualization and fulfillment by providing conditions for affiliation and attachment of the individual to a group, becoming a source of satisfactory experiences and human relationships. It provides conditions for learning and developing skills, guarantees safety and financial independence and contributes to the autonomy of the individual.Nohara, Acevedo & Fiametti, 2010, p. 73
If, in our society, work in general has a direct link with issues of social exchange, autonomy and livelihood, the effects of being included in the work context can be even greater. For those with disabilities, "the fact that they are working, promotes feelings of joy, happiness and well-being in both the professional and in the social aspect" (Nohara, Acevedo & Fiametti, 2010, p. 70).
It is precisely at that moment that public relations professionals can and should assist. Andrade (2003) states that "each employee should feel their usefulness and importance in the institution. Feeling respected is one of the strongest desires of human nature "(Andrade 2003, p. 96). Therefore, it is necessary and fundamental for the employers' organization to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market through their actions. By including a disabled individual in the work context, the organization is taking an important step in terms of the individual's sense of productivity as well as creating positive relationships with their internal public.
The benefits of inclusion bring other gains to organizations, as well as social issues, which are individual to each worker. According to Andrade (2003), "striving to analyze, understand, and satisfy the needs of the social man is as essential to the individual's balance and development as to the harmony, cohesion, and efficiency of the institution" (Andrade, 2003, p. 98).
As an advantage to the organization, inclusion promotes, for example, the improvement of the organizational climate, professional motivation that is returned through productivity, the association of values such as diversity and inclusion in the institutional image and even new business opportunities through quality certifications (Gonçalves, 2006).
It is clear, therefore, the importance of seeking specific adaptations and care referring to disabled individuals as a segment of the public to create processes in the organization that foster their sense of productivity, promoting identification with the organization and generating a positive image about it.
In this sense, it is necessary that the organization be prepared and adapted to receive the subject with disabilities in relation to the communication process, and an important part of this process must be worked on by the public relations professional. According to Pereira & Passerino (2012, p.7)
[...] although the education and qualification of persons with disabilities is urgently needed, this is simply not enough, because it is not enough to qualify the disabled [...] if organizations and society themselves do not.
In order to achieve the objectives outlined for this study, a case study was used. In order to perform the data collection used in the analysis, the techniques of an interview with a semi structured script and direct observation were adopted.
A case study, according to Yin (2001, p. 32),
is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within the context of real life when the boundary between the phenomenon is not clearly evident and where multiple sources of evidence are used.
Marconi and Lakatos (2004, p. 274) affirm that a case study "brings together the largest amount of detailed information, using different research techniques, in order to grasp a given situation and describe the complexity of a fact." For the authors, among other characteristics, the case study aims at the discovery and emphasizes the interpretation of the context, portraying reality in a broad way, using diverse sources of information.
Coupled to methods it was necessary to use research techniques to make it possible to perform the analysis. Thus, in order to understand the communication used with employees with disabilities, information was sought through the interview, about the channels and resources used to communicate with other employees, and the identification of possible adaptations that allow access to the information offered in an egalitarian way. Therefore, based on this technique, greater freedom for the exploitation of communication was guaranteed in the scope of the inclusion of disabled people in the workplace.
Finally, direct observation in loco was also used, in order to verify the communication processes if and when they were reported. According to Flick (2009, p. 204), observation involves additional senses to those used in the interview. According to the author, "the observations involve practically all of the senses - vision, hearing, perception, smell."
The study was carried out in two companies selected from previous research carried out by the TEIAS  (SolAssist ̶ Virtual Library of Solutions), to which this research is linked to. The selection criteria of the companies fulfill the criterion of availability of these organizations much more than that of the choice of the researchers, since a lot of distrust on the part of these private institutions for the research is still perceived. The fear of scrutiny when the organization fails to comply with the quotas, or the industrial secrecy and distrust of the ethical criteria adopted by the researcher, inhibits this collaboration.
Considering this, the ethical care required to apply the research was considered. The study is part of the SolAssist-Biblioteca Virtual de Soluções Assistivas project and is approved by the Research Committee and the Research Ethics Committee (CEP) of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. The Term of Free and Informed Consent was used, guaranteeing the ethical procedures of the study.
In order to analyze how communication occurs between workers with disabilities and organizations, we chose to use companies that had, during the study period, inclusion programs already established. It is understood that these programs generally aim to promote labor inclusion of people with disabilities through specific actions. Some organizations constitute specific sectors for these actions, others include them in sectors that value diversity and social responsibility, for example. The programs aim to promote inclusion in the workplace, evaluate work practices and jobs, monitor disabled workers and promote information campaigns for the different levels of the organization on these subjects.
Interviews were conducted in organizations during the first half of 2016. For each organization, at least one shift was dedicated, and the interview followed the visitation and observation of labor spaces and other spaces (human resources, canteens, etc.), allowing even more perceptions of the context of those organizations.
The companies are presented as Alpha and Beta Organizations. The first is a footwear industry with factories in Rio Grande do Sul. The company fulfills the legal quota of employees with disabilities. The second company, Beta, is also an industry, but in agricultural machinery. Beta has a significant number of workers with disabilities, but did not say if it meets the quota.
In the following item, we will present the analysis made from the application of the research methods and instruments, in an attempt to answer, How do the communicational processes between organizations and disabled employees work?
The Practice of Accessible Communication in Organizations
In Alfa company, internal communication in general, is poorly developed. The human resources sector, which promotes programs for the inclusion of people with disabilities, is responsible for communicating with workers. The company does not have internal communication channels developed, besides a mural board.
Whereas the reality of the internal communication of the Beta company is different. There is a specific communication sector responsible for transmitting information to employees and the internal communication channels are more developed. This contextualization is important because it allows us to understand the dimension of communication and its importance in each organization, since we sought adaptations and communication solutions in the resources present in organizations so that employees with disabilities have access to the same information as other employees.
Therefore, it seems inevitable that, if communication to employees in general is poorly developed and unsuccessful, the chances of this communication being accessible to disabled employees and having some kind of result are even smaller. Considering then that organizations are formed by individuals who feel the need to communicate with each other to understand their role within the organization, there is evidence of an urgent need for it to be developed, because without this communication, organizations simply do not exist, since "an organization is a continuous communicational phenomenon" (Kunsch, 2006, p.175).
When we questioned about adaptations in the communication of the Alfa company, we were informed that accessibility in communication "is based on the need presented" (Alfa Company Manager). That is, for the manager, the communicational processes must take place to the extent of the need presented, and not as an action that foresees the inclusion of the disabled worker in the company.
Referring to França (2003), on the importance of planning actions and adapting them to different audiences, because according to the author, it should be in the organization's interest to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities as much as the internal public, taking into account that their needs require certain specificities and adaptations.
Regarding materials with the tasks and guidelines for the job, these are only delivered to employees who are able to read. No adaptations are made so that subjects with certain visual or intellectual disabilities, for example, have access to this information. It should be noted that no other possibilities for the use of accessible materials are conceivable, which in this case could be configured in materials with pictograms, Braille information or even in digital format for use with screen readers.
The absence of adaptations reveals how far, in this context, alternatives and Assistive Solutions are, that would allow the subject to perform tasks successfully. For Pereira & Morais (2014) the development of assistive solutions in the context of the Alfa organization, for example, would allow not only the development of tasks, but could also place these disabled workers on an equal footing with others.
In addition, these subjects are not placed in positions that require the appropriation and use of this information. Therefore, workers with down syndrome, or any other employee who can’t read, because of the current communication context, are already fated to not assume certain positions in the organization. Although this finding goes beyond the scope of this study, it is important to note that the organization is not concerned with creating alternatives ̶ even training ̶ for those subjects that may change this reality.
In summary, it is observed that in this organization, no communication adaptation was made to guarantee the autonomy of the disabled in regard to such processes. Although the study of the "absence factor" has not been delved into, it is interesting to think that the lack of communicational accessibility within organizations ends up reducing the possibilities of the subject, both to grow and develop, and to interact in the different work spaces, training and leisure in organizational settings.
Communication, therefore, is directly related to the promotion of the human relationship, to the development of the subject and citizenship (Oliveira, 2011), and in this case, its absence reveals a lack in relationships, and consequently in the results of the organization. Thus, it is clear that the company is not thinking broadly and strategically, since it isolates, intentionally or not, a specific public.
Therefore, if an organization deprives a certain employee, for whatever reason, of access to social spaces and information, strategic or not, it is also preventing this subject from becoming involved in the organizational culture. This deprivation, promoted by lack of communicational accessibility and lack of adaptations, is also detrimental to organizations, since, according to Marchiori (2008, p. 209), "the greater the employee's involvement with the organization, the greater his commitment".
Therefore, this absence becomes extremely important for this analysis, because it alerts us to the ignorance of the benefits to the organization that comes from the concepts presented in this study ̶ internal communication, valorization, collaboration and relationships between organizations and their employees. Not to create conditions, through assistive solutions or other resources, within the organizations, is to signal the lack of interest on the part of the managers and, therefore, of the companies, in developing the professional with deficiency in the labor scope. It is ignoring their work capacity and disregarding their productive potential.
Failure to create these conditions for the inclusion of disabled people in the workplace has a meaning in terms of the individual's feeling of productivity, since it prevents the development of positive relationships with the internal public. According to Andrade (2003) the employee must feel important to the organization.
Specifically, in this study, the absence of communicational accessibility, observed in Alfa company, as well as adaptations that could facilitate working conditions and access to all fields of the organization for people with disabilities represents not only the policy of a company, but also how society relates to the social inclusion of these subjects. When we identify the absence of assistive solutions focused on the context of communication, one observes what has been practiced daily in all other areas of life of people with disabilities. It represents, therefore, in a way, the way in which society believes that a whole range of subjects could or could not communicate, the spaces and information that they could or could not access. Consequently, the skills and competences developed are related to the social environment that society allows for disabled individuals.
In this way, for Pereira (2016, p.86),
the existence or not of technologies and assistive solutions that enable or facilitate the professional development of a person with a disability does not only represent ignorance or neglect. Such absence represents all of these, as well as many other meanings that only the knowledge of that living organization will allow us to understand, and furthermore, represents an entire culture, among many other meanings.
When organizations hire employees with disabilities but do not make their communication accessible ̶ that is, they do not communicate in the same way as they communicate with others ̶ it is as if they disregard the strategic role and importance of that subject to the company's operating. Therefore, it is as if the employees with disabilities do not constitute the internal public, and more than that, it is as if society has moved back to the industrial period - where the organizations condemned the workers to alienated jobs ̶ that defines work as a mechanized practice. According to Oliveira and Paula (2007, p. 13) this alienation was clear in relation to its role in the productive chain, "since it did not participate in the production process as a whole, nor did it understand it."
However in the Beta company, there was a major advance and concern about how to communicate with disabled workers. When we questioned the existence of solutions to ensure the accessibility of communication within the organization, we were presented with several adaptations made considering the reality of employees with disabilities.
In respect to the solutions presented to visually impaired professionals, specifically the blind, the company uses features such as audio descriptions of the corporate video, sending of more informal information of the day to day work via Whatsapp, and a transcription of the internal magazine (approximately every 2 to 3 months) in CDs made available to the blind collaborators.
In relation to the subjects with intellectual disabilities, the manager brought to light the difficulty in fixing the information in parts for these employees. Seeking improvement and communicational access for them, the organization uses the sending of notes, messages via Whatsapp, as well as stimulating more frequent participation in training with other employees.
For hearing impaired employees, the organization incorporated the presence of Sign Language interpreters at institutional events, including follow-up on the first day of work of employees, in order to facilitate their inclusion and ensure the understanding of the functions and activities that they will develop. The interpreters are also present in lectures and trainings. Another resource adopted by the organization for the deaf was the inclusion of captions in the company's institutional video.
In addition to the features cited, Beta company reported that they had no blind adaptation for the murals, but that recent changes in internal communication had made the murals simpler and more objective for everyone. However, observation did not show that the clarity reported by the interviewee was, in fact, sufficient for people with intellectual disabilities. There were only a few pictures used and lots of information which, in fact, does not facilitate understanding for these subjects.
Another situation presented was the morning meetings. For the meetings, all the workers gather early in the morning to learn about the activities of the day and to transmit punctual information, such as warnings and the content present on the institution's mural. Although it was not designed for this, according to the interviewee, the practice of morning meetings helps to remedy the lack of accessibility of institutional murals. It is true that these meetings do not address the point of view of autonomy on the part of professionals with disabilities, but it can be said that it acts as an assistive solution as it meets the premise of information in the context of these subjects in question.
Although there are communication processes that require adaptations and more planning, it is noticed that in the Beta company there is already a concern in establishing inclusive communication. In proposing these adaptations, it can be said that the company understands the limitations of employees with disabilities, seeking to eliminate barriers and establishing accessible and egalitarian communication channels (Sassaki, 2006).
While in the Alfa company, the inclusion was focused on people with intellectual disabilities, the Beta company has shown concern for a greater diversity in the type of disabilities included in the organizational inclusion program ̶ people with visual, hearing and intellectual disabilities. This diversity in the types of employees' deficiencies characterizes the organization's way of thinking, since the aspects of difference also compose the communicational complexity that is imposed.
In this way, the fact that organizations are made up of people from different cognitive universes, cultures and worldviews (Kunsch, 2006), and in the case of the organization studied, different deficiencies implies the development of increasingly comprehensive and inclusive processes, since each disability requires different communication adaptations. Therefore, it is noted that there is an interest in actually including the professional in the organizational context.
Although organizations promote inclusion processes and inclusive communication, with the main objective of making the most of the production of their collaborator, the gains to each of these subjects in their personal life are unquestionable. Therefore, as well as profit, increased production and compliance with inclusion legislation are the ultimate objectives of inclusion programs, companies are nonetheless promoting the improvement of the social status of people with disabilities by helping to secure their livelihoods, their autonomy and stimulating their self-esteem and their feeling of productivity. Therefore, working in these spaces "provides conditions for learning and developing skills, guarantees safety and financial independence and contributes to the autonomy of the individual". (Nohara, Acevedo & Fiametti, 2010, p.73)
In most organizations, as in the case of the companies analyzed, which develop programs for the inclusion of people with disabilities, the main sectors involved are Human Resources (HR), the Internal Commission for the Prevention of Accidents (CIPA) and some sector specifically created for this. It is clear that these sectors play a key role in the inclusion of workers with disabilities and, if efficient, guarantee security, facilitate integration with colleagues and promote mitigating actions of prejudice during this process.
If we consider that it is from the internal relations between the organization and its collaborator that the relationships are formed ̶ and that by means of relations, we understand, in this study, the actions that approach or distance companies from their internal public ̶ the type of relationship that comes from this context where organizations simply do not establish dialogue.
Although there is no possibility of responding to this question, it is inferred based on the fragility of the relationships that are built between organizations and workers with disabilities, that the relationship is, in fact, ineffective, since it does not establish links that bring them closer.
In the practice of internal communication, assistive solutions could be further developed through small adaptations, such as making organization standards, plans and planning available in different accessible formats (Braille, expanded font, sign language, pictograms, digital version); in the adaptation of the internal mural with accessible versions and provision of the information at a height and degree of inclination that is accessible to employees with a short stature and wheelchair users; in the development of administrative and intranet systems that are accessible to screen readers; in the description of the images used in printed and digital internal communications; in the presence of interpreters of sign language in communications and organization events; in the production of institutional videos with subtitles in sign language and audio description; among others.
Many adaptations will arise according to the existing channels in the organization and from listening to the needs of the workers. It is necessary for organizations to understand that each professional with a disability has, just as everyone else, different skills, limitations and competences and it is from these that assistive solutions should be developed.
With this study it was realized that the topic of inclusion of people with disabilities still lacks many advances, as there are many social practices that need to be deconstructed in all of the areas of life of disabled individuals, especially those in the workplace context.
It has been observed that, even in organizations with projects and inclusion programs already structured, many of the spaces and practices present are not accessible to all workers, and therefore constitute exclusive processes and practices in contexts where, theoretically, they should be of social inclusion.
It is clear that the inclusion of people with disabilities in organizations is a complex process and that, in many cases, demands more planning for it to be applied correctly. However, it is the duty of society and organizations, as social institutions, to promote spaces that guarantee access to all people and ensure their rights, dignity and the exercise of citizenship. Even if it is challenging, it is precisely this inclusive society that we all have the duty and the responsibility to build.
Including people with disabilities in the labor market should be a basic assumption in the policies and positioning of organizations. Although the benefits to brand image and compliance with quotas are notable incentives for organizations to implement inclusion projects, this should not be their main motivation for the promotion thereof. If they follow this view, without seeking the correct forms of insertion of employees with disabilities, organizations will be subjecting their internal public to discouraging and exclusionary situations, thus compromising their social and professional development.
Inclusion, in many cases, becomes a revealing process, since it highlights specific problems already existing in organizations, ones that were there even before the introduction of programs for the insertion of people with disabilities into their workforce. If a company already has relationship problems with its employees, even those without disabilities, it is clear that the effective inclusion of professionals with disabilities will be compromised. In this case, it is not the complexity of the inclusion process that hinders the success of the program, but the problems that already exist in the context of that organization.
Thus, if organizational behavior is a reflection of what has been practiced by society, organizations that do not guarantee the access of people with disabilities in certain dimensions of the work context are consequently reproducing habits and customs that society itself practices. And so, in reproducing these exclusive practices, we notice a "disfavor" of the organization in relation to the social development of these subjects, even though they are inserting people with disabilities into the labor market.
In this sense, it is the obligation of both society and organizations to promote the accessibility of all aspects of life of disabled people and, therefore, assistive solutions become essential because they constitute the enabling strategies in the process of inclusion of disabled people in society and enable the development of positive relationships between organizations and their workers with disabilities.
It is therefore clear that communication, as a dimension in the work context, is accessible to all employees of an organization. It is precisely this communication that will guarantee that the subject with disabilities has an understanding of their role within the productive process and will guide the development of the values of the organization in the routine of the professional.
In light of this, besides the many other activities, the responsibility and social impact of the work of the public relations professional within the organizations, especially in regard to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the work environment, is also evident. Note the need to consider the potential and difficulties of these workers with disabilities at the time of planning and executing communication actions, always trying to make sure that they are accessible to all of the internal public.
The present article also allows to broaden the reflections on the subject, since new possibilities of research are also verified, for example, the necessity of a study that analyzes the communicational processes existing or not in the organizations from the point of view of the workers with disabilities. In this way, the impacts generated by the application, or absence, of the assistive solutions in the communication dimension from the perspective of disabled workers, inside and outside the organizations can be identified.
In addition, it is necessary to identify the impact of the communication assistive solutions, or the absence thereof, on the life of these subjects as a stimulus to their application in the context of the organizations, since they promote access to the same information as the other employees, and thus, the same knowledge of the organization, which then allows the same chances of developing and growing professionally.
It is noticed that the lack of adaptations, or of assistive solutions, condemns subjects with disabilities to a job with little autonomy, making them dependent on colleagues, superiors or relatives to access the day to day information. This lack of autonomy not only compromises their development and productivity, but also annihilates the possibilities of development that the work could provide for the disabled person.
The dimension of communicational accessibility related to internal communication in the organizations surveyed was evident in each of the organizations, as well as the adaptations of the internal communication processes for people with disabilities in the organizations. Therefore, even though there are public policies that guarantee the access of people with disabilities to the labor market, the path to effective inclusion in all dimensions of the subject's life is far from the end. However, building an inclusive society that treats these subjects with dignity is possible. However, capitalist principles such as profit and productivity must have the same importance as the development of more humane relationships and empathy with the subjects who live marginalized in our society.
As is the case of Law 8.213 of 1991, known as the "Quota Law", which guarantees that from 1% to 5% of the vacancies of private organizations with more than 100 employees to be filled by people with disabilities.
TEIAS - Tecnologias em Educação para Inclusão e Aprendizagem em Sociedade (Technologies in Education for Inclusion and Learning in Society) www.ufrgs.br/teias.
SolAssist Research Project: Biblioteca Virtual de Soluções Assistivas (Virtual Library of Assistive Solutions), of the TEIAS research group has the purpose of elaborating a Virtual Library of Assistive Solutions that brings together solutions for free public consultation. It is currently in its third version, already with the cataloging of solutions coming from studies and research carried out by the Group.
The names of the companies and of the interviewees of this research were preserved, following the guidelines of confidentiality of the research and for ethical reasons are identified with fictitious names.
Audio description is an additional narrative track for blind and visually impaired people, consumers of visual media, which include television, film, dance, opera, and visual arts.
Whatsapp is a multiplatform messaging application that allows you to exchange messages on your cell phone without paying for them. It is available for different platforms that can exchange messages with each other.
The organization did not authorize the use images/photographs of their murals.
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