5 Ways To Improve Disability Inclusion In Your Office
Disability-inclusive workplaces are an integral part of an all-inclusive workplace. Your employees, regardless of their disability, deserve to have a safe and fully accessible workplace. As of November 2021, America only had a little over 33% of its disabled workforce in permanent positions. That means that people with disabilities are still a massively untapped talent pool. With more and more companies recognizing this fact each year, employers have chosen to improve their workplace disability inclusion methods and policies.
This article will highlight five simple ways in which you can do the same for your office or workplace:
Although disabilities come in many forms, such as learning, psychiatric, or physical – you must approach your workplace from a different point of view. Ensure that your office or workplace is fully accessible to every employee, regardless of their mode of mobility.
Don’t just consider the entry and exit ways – your employees need to be able to move around inside the office and use all the same facilities as your traditionally mobile employees.
2. Assistive Technology Programs
To help visually impaired employees – or those who are hard of hearing, there are assistive technology programs to download to assist them. Most operating systems have built-in accessibility options that include larger font sizes or reading aloud settings.
These help to improve the functionality of the business.
Ensure that the employees that require headsets have a decent selection to choose from – not all ears are made the same, which means that not all headsets will fit the same.
3. Awareness & Etiquette
You must equip your managers and their workforce with the proper awareness and etiquette training to provide an inclusive work environment. Discriminating based on disability is not only against the law but also a trait of a highly toxic work environment that no one will want to work in.
Not all employees are equipped with the knowledge and sensitivity training needed to ensure that every employee can thrive and be happy in the workplace. The employer has to provide this information to every employee because they will benefit from it.
4. Language Usage
The perception and style of language have changed rapidly in the last few years and continue to evolve to become a far more inclusive language than it has ever been before. Many employees struggle with knowing how to refer to a person with disabilities in a politically correct manner.
The term “disability” is the default, but it is not universally accepted anymore. The best way to work around this is to ask them how they would like to be referred to. A safer option is to use terms like “condition” rather than “disorder”. Remember – what is normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly.
Never assume that you know what “normal” is because “normal” doesn’t exist.
5. Improved Hiring Policies
Some positions are more suited to individuals with conditions than others, but that by no means implies that there are positions that you cannot consider hiring a non-traditionally abled individual. Adjust your hiring policies to be more inclusive and you’ll soon realize that it makes a world of difference to your inclusive workplace.