Did you know that 26% of American adults have some type of disability?
This loosely means that if you have a staff of 20, approximately 5 members have a disability of some sort. However, many people choose not to disclose their disability for fear of getting fired.
However, by discouraging disabled employees, you’re stifling their potential and productivity. So, how can you create a fulfilling workplace for those with disabilities?
We’re here to fill you in. Check out our guide below to learn how to make your workplace disability friendly!
Educate Yourself and Your Staff
In order to make your workplace disability friendly, you have to be as educated on disabilities as possible. Many people are unaware of the scope of the disability spectrum. Many people live with “invisible” disabilities, which can make it challenging to ask for accommodations.
Along with educating yourself, you should also educate your existing staff on disability awareness. It will make your workplace more inclusive and supportive.
It’s wise to hold informational meetings on disabilities every so often, even if you’re under the impression that none of your staff are disabled. It will help employees understand why certain accommodations are necessary and how to assist future employees with disabilities.
Consult with Your Disabled Employees
The last thing you want to do is speak over your disabled employees about their own situation. If you want to learn the best ways to accommodate them, simply ask.
This is best done through either a one-on-one meeting or through a friendly email. Don’t put your employees on the spot in a meeting unless they suggest bringing it up in a team setting.
Some employees may feel uncomfortable discussing their situation. If that’s the case, don’t press them. Instead, consult an expert in the field to learn the best specific ways to make your workplace disability-friendly.
Offer Workplace Disability Resources
Most workplaces have protocols they follow when an employee is hurt on the job. Often times, these injuries are caused by accidents. However, that doesn’t diminish the severity of the situation.
To assist injured disabled employees, it’s wise to have a collection of resources on hand. For example, if an employee became disabled due to a workplace injury, they might apply for social security disability benefits. You can help increase their chances of approval by providing names of well-respected disability lawyers.
Have Your Office Assessed
If you aren’t sure how to make physical changes to your office, consult a professional. Trained designers can help you make your office as accessible as possible.
While it can seem intimidating and costly to expand or change your office space, it’s a worthwhile investment. Making these design changes will allow you to open your doors to a wide variety of new hires.
This in turn can lead to higher employee retention rates. Your employees will feel welcomed and at ease while doing their work. You won’t have to constantly waste money hiring and training employee after employee.
A disability-friendly workspace is also important if you meet customers in your office. If your workplace is accessible, you’ll be able to host more customers and network with even more individuals.
Making a Change
Making small changes to your workplace can seem like no big deal, but they often mean the world to those with disabilities. The more you make your workplace disability friendly, the more opportunities you’ll open your business up to.
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