4 Ways Businesses Can Increase Inclusion For Disabled Employees

How-Businesses-Can-Increase-Their-Accomodations-for-Disabled-Employees

While the law requires reasonable accommodations to be met for current and applying employees, it’s best not to wait until an employee asks before you update your facilities. Having a company that is already physically prepared to handle disabilities can attract great talent that otherwise would have been put off by inadequate accommodation of physical needs. Take the time to evaluate what you have right now to help include disabled individuals, and consider these 4 ways to further that inclusion.


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Widen Doorways and Hallways

One of the challenges that wheelchair-bound disabled employees face is getting their chair through tight doorways and skinny hallways. This can be particularly daunting when there is a lot of traffic or materials being moved around while they are attempting to get from point A to point B.

By widening doorways and hallways, not only will this reduce congestion caused by high traffic times like lunch or clock-out time, but it will allow disabled individuals the access they need to see your company as a potential future workplace where they can thrive.

Elevators and Ramps 

Another option is to install elevators and ramps in the workplace. Even if a disability doesn’t involve a wheelchair, many with knee problems, back problems, weak ankles, or a variety of other otherwise invisible ailments can face severe struggles when it comes to navigating stairways. To allow all employees to have proper access to all relevant areas of the building, it’s important to provide an alternate means to getting from one floor to the other.


Recommended reading: Tips for Managing and Communicating Employee Benefits


Use Braille Signs

Installing Braille signs in key areas are good for a couple of reasons. First, your employees aren’t the only ones who visit your building. If you have a blind visitor, then you will want them to be able to read important directional signs and feel comfortably accommodated for.

Even if you already have blind employees, they may not think to ask for these signs, figuring they can navigate well enough on their own. However, it’s better to have signs up to help direct them as to which room is which, especially as they may have their own needs that they’ll want to speak to HR about (which his hard to do if you can’t find HR.)

Voice Activated Computer Interfaces

Some of your disabled employees may have difficulty using a keyboard to do their work. However, this can easily be worked around while potentially improving the speed at which everyone works. With modern technology making the Voice User Interface (VUI) a viable reality in the workplace, it can be a great improvement which helps increase employee performance in numerous applications. While this isn’t ideal for every position, it can help in a lot of areas and create a uniquely disability-friendly environment for prospective and current employees.

When you take the time to anticipate the needs of your employees, present and future, then you set your business up for greater talent and success. Disabled employees shouldn’t have to ask to have the same access to your company as everyone else, especially when just a few simple changes is all that they need. Do what you can now to help increase your company’s accessibility, and your employees will reward you with higher quality work.

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