Disabilities and Inclusion: Is your workplace accessible?
5 ways to make your workplace more inclusive
Nearly one in five people in the UK have a disability with more than eight million of them being working age. Here are some ways you can make your workplace more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.
Not all disabilities are visible
Accessibility needs to cover both visible and invisible disabilities. That is the best way to make your workplace inclusive. While this list is by no means exhaustive, some examples of hidden disabilities are hearing loss, visual impairment, chronic pain, learning disabilities, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, depression and other mental health disorders, Chron’s disease etc.
Increase applicant accessibility
Ensure your online job application system is accessible for impaired people because you are eliminating a potentially great candidate.
Provide information about accommodation requests on your company website so that people don’t have to do interview accessibility requests as they can be stressful. Offering accessible technology on your website shows potential candidates that your organisation values inclusion and actively working on accomodating people with all disabilities.
You should provide disability inclusion training for hiring managers so that they are well equipped to ask the right questions that focus on core skills and help them assess the whole person instead of just their disability.
Training should be available for all employees as well as they need to know what they can do to contribute to a more inclusive work environment. This training should be incorporated as part of the onboarding process.
Create an inclusive culture and attitude
While education and awareness are very important, it is critical your company policies specifically mention disabilities. Your employee handbook should address disability discrimination. Work to remove conscious and unconscious bias by offering everyone the opportunity to participate in ongoing discussions. Ask employees to identify problem areas in your inclusion culture.
Stay up to date with legislations
Accessibility laws are always changing and updated. You should address and document accessibility issues regardless of how insignificant any steps may be. Regularly assess your workplace legislation and policies to find ways you can improve and address barriers that affect people with disabilities.
Here are more things to consider to make your workplace inclusive and offices accessible.
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