Changing the Paradigm of Inclusion: How Blind People Could Help People without Disabilities to Acquire New Competences
People with disabilities have been increasingly regarded as the most powerful and overlooked workforce in the labor market, although frequently confronted with ineffectiveness in cooperation with colleagues without disabilities. The traditional paradigm of inclusion considers blind people as dependents needing help. Inclusive society is highly aimed at effective interactions between the workforce with and without disabilities. The present article regards people with disabilities as those having diverse potentials which stem from different cultural backgrounds, and behaving differently during intercultural interactions with individuals without disabilities. This article proposes a new disability inclusion paradigm involving successful blind professionals in mentoring activities, to share their experience with top managers and experts in Russian organizations. Through focus groups and in-depth interviews, this article finds specific differences in explicit and implicit interactive behaviors between individuals with and without blindness. Furthermore, the present article highlights the positive effect of a disability inclusion paradigm on cultural intelligence development of organizational managers and experts.