Inclusion means more than just hiring people with disabilities. It means truly doing everything you can to ensure success. One of the most important ways to support individuals with disabilities is an accessible workplace. This shows how much you value your employees, and removes barriers that may be preventing their success.
Here are five ways you can create an accessible workplace.
One in five adults has a learning disability. It is likely there are several people with learning disabilities (ADHD, dyslexia, or a visual processing impairment) working for you right now. The Learning Disability Association of America created a guide to supporting adults with learning disabilities in the workplace.
Go beyond the physical space.
When you hear the term “accessible workplace,” you might picture the physical attributes of your office. But not all disabilities are physical, and neither are accommodations. Consider investing in assistive technologies like screen readers, enlarged keyboards, or voice recognition programs.
Invest in employee education.
Creating an inclusive workplace is about more than making a few changes then watching everything fall into place. Cultivating this atmosphere means getting all of your employees on board. Implement a training program so your employees know how to support everyone on their team, including people with disabilities. Making sure everyone is on the same page fosters a supportive company culture. You should also invest in collaborative equipment, such as writeable surfaces, to help your team work together on different projects and tasks. This is a great way to get your employees to speak and form friendships.
Get expert advice.
If you’re looking for an expert opinion on how to make your office more inclusive, many organizations can analyze this for you. You also might be able to find the answers you’re looking for in-house. Ask employees what changes they would like to see made this year.
There’s always room for improvement.
You’ve had important conversations and implemented new policies. However, you must remember that you’re never “done” when it comes to creating an inclusive workplace. New technologies come onto the market, new employees join your team, and thus new adjustments will have to be made. Creating an accessible workplace isn’t just a box you check, but an ongoing process that takes continuous effort.
At LifeROOTS, we are committed to helping adults with disabilities achieve their personal and professional goals. We provide adult clients with comprehensive career consulting services and community engagement opportunities with their unique needs in mind. Please call us at 505-962-0270 or click here to learn more about our Adult Enrichment or Supported Employment Services.