Cultural Competence

Everyone has worth. We believe that diversity and inclusion create a solid foundation for everyone to reach their full potential.

 

How do we define culture?

Because the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities believes that every person has worth, we strive to become a culturally competent organization. How do we do that? First, it means we recognize the we all come from potentially different backgrounds -- our cultures. 

There are many factors that define culture. Environment. Language. History. Religion. Traditions. 

Culture often defines how we express ourselves, not just as individuals, but as groups. From birth, we learn, through our culture, the rules of living with others. These rules are transmitted from one generation to the next.

What is a culturally competent organization?
  1. A culturally competent organization acknowledges and validates who people are. We recognize that everyone has worth. And then we develop an atmosphere where people of different cultures work effectively in cross-cultural settings. Everyone is involved in the process.

  2. A culturally competent organization brings together knowledge about different groups of people -- and transforms it into standards, policies, and practices that make everything work.
Why is cultural competence important?

Diversity in the workplace is a reality. Studies indicate that entrants to the workforce increasingly will be people of color, immigrants, white women, and the differently abled. 

Cultural competence increases our respect and mutual understanding; increases participation of other cultural groups; and increases trust and cooperation. Cultural competence also promotions inclusion and equality.

We asked staff about the benefits of having friends who are different...
  • having different ideas and life experiences to share
  • ​learning and teaching each other new things
  • exposure to varied perspectives can lead to personal growth
  • expands my perception of my tiny view of "my" world
  • makes life more exciting
  • teaches me about not only differences but also sameness
  • complimenting my weaknesses and being a teacher to show me different ways of doing things
We asked staff if they could be respectful even if they didn't care for someone...
  • Yes, it was hard but it’s not about me!
  • Yes, I always try to find the common ground
  • Yes, everyone deserves to be respected
  • It helps to get someone's perspective
  • Absolutely, it's part of being an adult
  • I try hard!

 

Take this Cultural Awareness self-assessment
  1. Have you learned a second language?
  2. Have you reflected on your personal biases and prejudices?
  3. Are you a member of, or have you participated in, any of the cultural competence and diversity committee meetings, programs, or activities?
  4. Are you able to distinguish the historical roles, values, and traditions of diverse cultures?
  5. Do you understand the various forms of oppression?
  6. Have you taken a course in ethnic studies or Women's Studies?
  7. Have you developed relationships with persons of different gender, race, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation?
  8. Have you attended events that explore communities different than your own?
  9. Have you served as an ally for another cultural community?