Inclusivity is a core part of the modern social consciousness. Ensuring that all people have their needs catered for is an important aspect of any business and being inclusive should not be a point for consideration; it should be a given. That being said it is almost impossible to cater to every need out there, but it is certainly possible to cover a lot of basic points. In fact, most of these ideas require very little investment and have the potential to make a big difference to any disabled individuals that work for you or are visiting your premises.
Build awareness within your employees
The most basic and probably most essential thing that all workplaces should do is to ensure that their staff receives sufficient awareness training. It is vital that staff understand that their workplace is disability friendly and to address common misconceptions and behavioural patterns. Amazingly, some people still act differently and sometimes even uncomfortably around disabled people; awareness training will help to make these situations easier for everyone.
Remember that not all disabilities are visible
It is an unfortunate fact that there is a very wide range of disabilities that people have to live with. From mental health issues to diabetes and auto-immune conditions, a surprisingly large amount of them are not visible and sometimes considerations need to be made. If small and changes such as screen filters or increased flexibility around break times can help integrate some disabled individuals into the work environment, then these are changes that should be made.
Make sure you have the correct equipment
As touched on above, some simple changes to the workplace can help to incorporate disabled individuals. Having some basic equipment to improve access and working conditions will go a long way. Items such as dyslexia-friendly screen filters, orthopedic office chairs, and telephones with larger numbers on them are some basic examples that should be readily available. If you have entrances and exits that are not wheelchair friendly then installing quality ramps from a company will make sure that access is simple and safe for those disabled individuals that require it.
Don’t be afraid of seeking outside help
If you feel that your company lacks the training or knowledge to adequately assist disabled employees then there is no shame in seeking help from outside sources. There are non-profit organisations, government agencies, local disability organisations and plenty of other resources out there that will be only too happy to work with your company. Making sure that your business is able to provide a working environment with equal opportunities for all staff is the most important factor and your company will be respected all the more for making this happen. Don’t leave anything to chance and don’t assume, ask the questions that need to be asked and help change the way things operate if they need changing.