The “formal requests” at the end about employees with disabilities and the “environmental impact of returning to onsite sic in-person work” are such transparent pandering. (I have never once heard of Apple not doing whatever it takes not only to accommodate employees with any disability, but to make them feel welcome.)
Structural ableism doesn’t stop at any company’s firewall, including Apple’s. I agree with Gruber most of the time, but here I depart. “I have never once heard of Apple not doing whatever it takes not only to accommodate employees with any disability, but to make them feel welcome” induces heavy eye roll from my neurodivergent and disabled self.
I can’t help but think that the problem for Apple is that they’ve grown so large that they’ve wound up hiring a lot of people who aren’t a good fit for Apple, and that it was a mistake for Apple to ever hook up a company-wide Slack.
Ah, “fit”. The word used to exclude so many of us. This is an exhibit of why I prefer the rule-of-thumb: culture add > culture fit.
Company-wide Slack allows marginalized people to connect and Employee Resource Groups to form.
- Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group at Automattic – Ryan Boren
- Strategic Essentialism and Employee Resource Groups – Ryan Boren
- Do Not Be the Oppressor: Unlocking the Power of Employee Resource Groups – Ryan Boren
- Affinity Groups, Psychological Safety, and Inclusion – Ryan Boren
- Bring the backchannel forward. Written communication is the great social equalizer. – Ryan Boren
ERGs are a culture add. Instead of bemoaning them, we should be nurturing and learning from them. They alert us to friction and bad design. Apple should care about bad design. So should Gruber.
- Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life – Ryan Boren
- Power, Justice, and Professionalism in the Tech Workplace – Ryan Boren
- Neurodiversity, the social model of disability, intersectionality, and equity literacy are necessary professional development. – Ryan Boren
We are formally requesting a transparent, clear plan of action to accommodate disabilities via onsite, offsite, remote, hybrid, or otherwise location-flexible work.
Cheers. Thanks for including us. We’ve been warning that the accommodations that suddenly became possible during a pandemic would go away and we’d be back to forced intimacy and the accommodations grind.
- Accessibility, Access Intimacy, and Forced Intimacy – Ryan Boren
- Accommodations: Individualized Responses to Structural Design Problems – Ryan Boren
- Accommodations and The Many Forms of Difference – Ryan Boren
We should be foregrounding complexity as the baseline instead of effectively telling marginalized people to shut up and ERGs to go away.