How to Make Your Business More Accessible and Disability-Friendly
October, the National Disability Employment Awareness Month has ended. This has shed light on the position and status of people living with disabilities in the job market.
The employment rate for people with disabilities is five times higher than those without a disability. As such, hiring people with a disability in your business is commendable. But, it doesn’t end with hiring.
Ensure that the workplace is conducive for employees with disabilities in the workplace.
Are you looking for ways of creating a more inclusive workplace for persons with disabled employees? You’re in the right place.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to make your business more accessible and friendly to disabled people.
Stay with us and learn.
When you’ve hired a disabled person, many things can go wrong in the workplace.
It’s possible to make mistakes even with the best intentions when dealing with people with disabilities. This is true as you might be oblivious of what they need or go through. Assuming that you know what they need could be as worse.
As a leader, you should be at the forefront and lead by example. You should ensure that employees with disabilities in the workplace feel included and comfortable. Educate yourself on the matters that concern disability and employment.
This way, you’ll be able to handle any issues that may arise, and disabled employees can trust you and come to you with their problems.
Educate the Current Staff
In the course of daily business operations, your staff will have to interact. As such, sensitizing your staff about dealing with people with disabilities is very critical.
This makes it imperative you talk to your current employees when making your business disability-friendly. They might have inputs that might be vital to improve accessibility.
When creating an inclusive culture, one of the most crucial lessons employees must get is sensitivity, understanding, and empathy. Consider bringing in a person who’s more informed or who works with people with disabilities. Seminars, conferences, and team-building exercises are one good way of achieving and educating the staff.
However, you need to understand that this isn’t a one-time thing. Schedule periodic sensitizing and educating sessions as time goes on.
For more information, contact transcript service.
Remove Physical Barriers
Now that you’ve brought in a valuable addition to the team, you need to ensure that they have easy access to the company. However, most businesses aren’t designed to accommodate people with disabilities. One way of making sure that your business is by removing physical obstacles. These would hinder easy movement for disabled employees.
Reserve parking spaces for people with disabilities and make sure walkways are wheelchair accessible. Also, ensure that your doorways and entrances allow wheelchairs to pass through. Give your offices and lobbies ample space to accommodate and allow easy movement for people with disabilities.
If your office is accessible through stairs, you should consider installing a ramp for easier access.
Learn the Patterns of Communication
You’ll find both visible and invisible disabilities in the workplace. As such, you need to learn the communication patterns and behaviors related to disability. This will be very vital when dealing with employees with disabilities.
Not knowing these social cues often times, result in misunderstanding and confrontations. For instance, it’s easy to dismiss people with mobility impairments as lazy or slow.
Before labeling and dismissing a disabled employee as rude, unpleasant, or “not fitting in.” Consider how a person’s disability may be affecting their relationships with others. This will promote tolerance, cohesion, and understanding in the organization.
Consider revising The Company Policies
One of the most vital things you can do to promote an accessible and environment in your business is policy revision. Revising means, you’ll account for workplace discrimination, which will include disabled persons. Ensure the policies you enact are in line with your state or country’s disability laws.
In the policy, you should consider adding a clause that allows for employee training programs. Also, include mentoring classes, and workshops. These new policies will create a discrimination-free environment.
This will improve the productivity of the entire staff.
Incorporate Flexible Hours and Remote Work
There’s a chance, no matter how accessible you make your workplace, people with severe mobility issues may still find it difficult. In such a situation, consider flexible working hours or part-time working. This way, the disabled employee will continue being productive.
Modern technological advancements have made remote work a reality. Consider remote working for disabled staff. Make sure to include this in the job description for any new positions you’re filling. Don’t forget to speak with your present workers who have impairments and provide them with the same possibilities.
For many people, the opportunity to work from home relieves the burden of going to work while also feeling valuable and productive.
Don’t Forget to Update Your Website
Due to the harsh conditions brought about by the Rise of the COVID19 pandemic, most businesses switched to online. By leveraging the internet, businesses were able to continue with their operations. If you’re one such company, you need to optimize your website to make it more accessible to your disabled staff.
Also, with an accessible website, disabled employees can apply for job promotions in the company.
Make your Business More Accessible to Disabled Employees
The above-discussed tips will help make your business accessible to disabled employees. This will improve their output, which will boost your business to the next level.
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