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Ways Businesses Can Create a Disability-Inclusive Workplace

Ways Businesses Can Create a Disability-Inclusive Workplace

More and more companies are making strides to becoming inclusive by hiring diverse sets of employees, including people with disabilities. However, just hiring people with disabilities is not enough to be inclusive of the disabled community. There are still many ways businesses can create a disability-inclusive workplace outside of simply hiring employees.   

Identify Bias   

Oftentimes, those without a disability do not realize the biases that exist in the workplace. The first step to becoming more inclusive is to become aware of the areas where bias can occur. Analyze all areas of the business where bias may be prevalent, from the hiring and training process to simple everyday tasks. When an area of bias is shown, look to create new processes that are inclusive to all employees. For example, people who are color-blind see the world differently. Thus, reds and greens are commonly hard to see for employees with color blindness. If your business primarily uses one of these colors in your PowerPoint presentations, consider changing it to a color that they can see better. Color choice is most likely something the average employee wouldn’t think twice about, but it can completely change the experience of a person who is color-blind.

Make Environmental Accommodations  

The workplace infrastructure can play a big role in a person’s ability to work at your business. You may find the perfect candidate for a needed position is wheelchair-bound. While they are the best fit for the job, they may have to decline the offer if your office space isn’t wheelchair accessible. In this case, improving the environment with ramps and wheelchair access can help increase inclusivity.   

Make Work-Specific Accommodations  

While making changes to the work environment is important to create inclusivity for physical disabilities, other accommodations should be made to work processes to make them more inclusive of cognitive impairments. Creating longer deadlines, more guidance, or making changes to the typical workload based on the individual's needs can help a great deal.   

Create a Supportive Community  

Creating a more inclusive business needs to start from the top leaders but must be seen through all facets of the business. Hold training seminars and continuously create conversations that promote an inclusive culture to foster a wider awareness and make inclusivity a priority for all employees.

Identifying bias, making accommodations, and creating a supportive community are all ways businesses can create a disability-inclusive workplace.