By Dara Sharif
It’s the miracle of modern medicine.
Doctors in Boston say all of the nearly 180 people rushed to hospitals after the marathon bombing will likely live, including the dozen or so who lost limbs.
At last count, about 50 people were still hospitalized, a little more than a week after the blast, including 14 who lost all or part of an arm or leg. Doctors say their prognoses are promising.
Experts credit the positive outlook to prompt care by doctors and nurses, as well as the willingness of bystanders to aid the wounded prior to the arrival of paramedics.
But it’s still a long road ahead for all of those injured in the bombing, which killed three people at the scene, including an 8-year-old boy. A Chechen immigrant and recent U.S. citizen, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged in the attack.
Medical care alone can run upward of $50,000, one researcher told the New York Times. In addition, there’s the psychological trauma and the real-world adjustment for those who lost one or more limbs. Some will require psychological counseling; others will need physical therapy. Renovations may be needed to make homes accessible for those adjusting to a new disability.
Employers can expect to be impacted as well, with the need to make modifications for returning workers, and to ensure a supportive and respectful workplace for employees, some of whose disabilities will be visible and some of whose may not be.
Half the battle in helping the people impacted by the Boston bombing may be simply remembering that they are just that: people. Their abilities may have been forever altered by the blast, but they are still able.
Is Your Workplace Disability-Friendly?
The companies on The 2013 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, especially those in the Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities, share several best practices that make them welcoming places for people with disabilities. These include:
- Resource groups for people with disabilities and their allies that focus on accommodating workplaces, open recruitment policies and cultural-competence training for managers and the workplace—including people with hidden disabilities. More than three-quarters of the DiversityInc Top 50 have resource groups for people with disabilities, a percentage which has almost doubled in the past eight years.
- Frequent communications, such as DiversityInc’s Meeting in a Box on People With Disabilities, in October, that emphasize knowledge of the increasing number of people with disabilities graduating from college and their value to the workplace.
- Specific recruitment efforts and initiatives that look for ways to include people with disabilities in innovative fashions.
- Accommodating workplaces, including flexible hours/telecommuting, offered by all of the DiversityInc Top 50.