IDEAL Conversations: Inclusive Communications in the Profession

Have you ever been to a meeting on an interesting topic, not be able to read the slides, and walk out more confused than before you attended?

Thirty-two volunteers attended the inaugural IDEAL Conversation on March 22. Amanda Scalza, SC Johnson & Son, Inc., gave tips for inclusive communication that addressed different abilities and communication styles, with an emphasis on presentations. She also showed statistics that around 40% of the workforce (18-65 year olds) have some sort of disability. This further emphasizes the need for a more inclusive workspace. The presentation was followed by an introduction to our Disability Outreach and Inclusion Committee by Chris Pope, past chair of DORIC. He mentioned the need for more allies and folks working in chemical engineering with disabilities to join.

People with disabilities aren’t given a chance, they aren’t even given a chance to get a chance. - Missy Postlewaite

Finally, Melissa (Missy) Postlewaite shared her personal story on growing up as a person with disabilities and the barriers and struggles that she had to face. Missy mentioned that “people with disabilities aren’t given a chance, they aren’t even given a chance to get a chance.” With that, she highlighted the importance of a more inclusive culture and workplace so that more people with disabilities can thrive and share their gifts to the chemical engineering community and beyond.

The session ended with breakout networking rooms where folks discussed the topic of inclusive communications as well as how to be more helpful in general to people with disabilities.

Check out and review AIChE’s IDEAL Statement.