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Be Inclusive: 3 Ways to Make a Disability Friendly Workplace

A human being is defined by their intentions, talents, strengths, and compassion. Physical strength and ability do not factor into this equation.

Sixty-one million Americans are differently-abled. But these individuals are just as productive and effective when it comes to their ethic, capabilities, and qualifications.

If you’re an employee who aspires to make to make their workplace more disability-friendly, here’s a guide to help you:

Awareness!

The first step is always building awareness. It’s important that employees are aware of their duties as a member of the organization, and know what they can do to make their coworkers equally involved.

For instance, they need to know what they can do to help a colleague in the event of an emergency. Hold etiquette classes and training sessions that dispel any bias and prejudice that may prevail among employees. Every employee needs to understand that the workplace is an equalizing one.

Accessibility!

It’s the employer’s duty to make sure all amenities and facilities within the workplace are equally accessible for all employees. The workplace must be designed in a way that allows differently-abled employees to move around freely and access all common areas. This can be done in the following ways:

  1. Make sure parking is disability-friendly, wheelchairs are accessible at the entrance, and that there are ramps at all the entry and exit points.
  2. The corridors should be wide enough to allow wheelchairs to get through.
  3. Workstations, computer labs, and bathrooms should be designed to provide easy access.
  4. The buttons on elevators should be placed in a way that wheelchair-bound employee can press them on their own.
  5. All information pertaining to the company must be accessible to all employees equally.

 

Assistive technology

We live in a time when assistive technology has made it easier to not just hire, but also involve differently-abled employees equally. Common examples are online system applications and tools that can be used by them without any impediments. This includes speech recognition software, hearing aids, and sign language apps. You can try and make them more user-friendly and improve the web interface to make it simpler.

Other than that, you can also invest in aids like color-coded keyboard and refreshable Braille displays to engage with all employees equally. However, these tools will only be effective if you provide employees with the right support, training, and counseling they need to use them.

 

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