According to government data, 19% of working age adults are disabled.
As an employer, manager or team leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that employees feel comfortable in the workplace.
Read on to find out what you can do to make your workplace more inclusive to people with disabilities.
Improve Workplace Accessibility
Creating an accessible workplace is all about providing employees with the most suitable, helpful tools and equipment needed to ensure they can carry out their responsibilities with ease and comfort.
Improved accessibility benefits everyone and creates a far safer and happier environment where people can get their work done and enjoy time spent at work. Here are some of the most common ways you can make a workplace more accessible for people with disabilities:
- Installing ramps or elevators
- Ensuring parking, doorways and bathrooms have wheelchair accessibility
- Using braille at some of the essential points or areas in the workplace
- Make use of assistive technology such as colour-coded keyboards, refreshable Braille displays, specialized screen reader software, assistive listening devices, speech recognition and sign language apps, and browsers that provide user-friendly and customizable Web interface
- Install larger screens or make use of assistive technology such as screen readers and magnifiers on computers for those with visual impairment
- Providing height adjustable desks and chairs
- Introducing proper cable management and accessible plug sockets to benefit employees with limited mobility
Educate Staff about Discrimination and Inclusive Behaviour
An aware workforce is also an empowered workforce. It is essential to encourage an ongoing dialogue with all employees about the importance of disability inclusion and accessibility. Providing good education and awareness will help to dispel biases and discrimination. Employees should also be given basic information about how they can help their disabled colleagues in cases of emergency.
Ensure Recruiting and Application Process is Accessible and Inclusive
Your hiring processes should be accessible and inviting to applicants with disabilities. Here are some of the most common ways you can make your hiring process more accessible for people with disabilities:
- Ensuring job postings and online application process is accessible, for example making the job posting available in different formats
- Stating in the job description that qualified individuals with disabilities are welcome to apply and reasonable accommodations will be made should their application be successful
- Ensuring interview and testing locations are accessible
- When you hire someone with a disability, or an existing employee acquires a disability through illness or injury, be creative about reasonable accommodations. There isn’t an exhaustive list of what an employer has to do or can do, it is a process that is unique to each person. For example, one person may need a specific type of desk, another may benefit from the flexibility of working from home sometimes.
An inclusive workplace can boost productivity, improve employee morale and help contribute to the development of staff. With proper effort and steps in place, this is something that all companies can strive for and achieve.
The College of Animal Welfare do not discriminate unlawfully either directly or indirectly against a job applicant or one of its own employees. The College is committed to equal opportunities: appointments are open to members of the community on an equal basis. Please visit our website to view our current vacancies