Employers and managers realize the need to have a diverse workforce with varied skills. Unfortunately, only 17.5 percent of people with disabilities are employed. Creating a disability friendly workplace starts with employing qualified candidates, offering support, and encouragement to help people with disabilities utilize their full potential. This means you need to develop friendly work culture, and if you are wondering where to start, here are a few tips.
1. Invest in training
Building awareness is vital to creating a disability-friendly culture. All employees must become familiar with the commitment your organization has to be disability friendly. Organize sensitization training and etiquette classes to help everyone gain more insight on how to interact and deal with disabled colleagues. In most cases, you will find a few employees being biased about their disabled counterparts, and whether they do it consciously or unconsciously, the training will help them realize their fault and work towards change.
2. Emphasize health and well-being
Every employer knows how important it is to have a health-conscious workplace. When you have employees with disabilities, however, you need to be even more conscious about health and well-being. Ensure your disabled employees have access to disability insurance to provide financial protection if they or someone else becomes unable to work due to an injury or illness. This ensures the insurance company will cater for a portion of their income and insulate them during financial hardships.
Also, ensure your workplace encourages games, physical activities, and other recreation options that help people relax and rejuvenate during the day. For instance, you can have sleeping pods where people can take power naps if they feel exhausted during the day or a gym where they can blow off steam and relax. You can have a caregiver center for disabled employees and a games center that allows interaction and building relationships.
3. Make reasonable accommodations
When someone has been out of work because of a disability, they may not have the same capability to perform their duties as they did before. It’s your responsibility to ensure they have the required accommodations to transition back to work smoothly. The Americans with Disability Act stipulates that employers should make reasonable accommodation for anyone with a physical or mental impairment.
Although the cost implications are a significant concern for most employers, the Act clarifies that the accommodation doesn’t need to cause any undue hardship to the organization either financially or otherwise. You can, for instance, include a ramp to make it easier for anyone in a wheelchair or add specific equipment or software if it will make work easier for people with disabilities. You can even adjust desks and monitors, invest in a color-coded keyboard, install sign language apps, and screen reader software.
Understanding the challenges disabled people face will give you more insight on how to make your workplace disability-friendly. Start by implementing the tips we have outlined and look for more ways to keep your organization inclusive.
This post has been sponsored by Roundshark Ltd
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