Historically, disabled individuals faced many hurdles when looking for employment. But today’s hiring managers recognize that people with disabilities bring valuable skills and perspectives to the job.
To make your workplace more inviting and welcoming to people with disabilities, take these four steps:
1) Invest in training
Provide training and education to help all employees learn how to work with people with disabilities. This might include on-site workshops or working with local disabilities and nonprofit organizations.
2) Make your office layout accessible
Considering the following:
- Parking – Are there spaces close to the entrance?
- Elevation changes – Is there an elevator that can accommodate a wheelchair and are the control buttons at the appropriate height for a person seated in a wheelchair? Additionally, are their ramps or other ways to access the building’s entrance?
- Door width – Are the doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair (36 inches)? Are the doors easy to open?
- Bathrooms – Will a person with disabilities have access to a restroom stall and sink?
- Work stations – Is there an office or cubicle fitted for a person with a disability?
3. Use assistive technology
Not all disabilities are physical. Sometimes assistive technology is needed to help people do their job. This might include using computer screen readers to help those with vision impairments. Another option is transcription services to help those who are hearing impaired.
4. Ask for employee feedback
One of the best ways to learn what your employees need is to ask. Request feedback from all of your employees, including those who are disabled, to learn what they really need to help them do their jobs well.
Celebrating Inclusivity in the Workplace
This October, Goodwill will be joining in the celebration of the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). 2020 also marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which ensures equal access to transportation, public accommodations, and employment opportunities for all workers with disabilities.
Not only does this commemorative year reflect decades of increased representation, advancement, and equality for disabled workers, it also allows us to reflect on the many ways inclusive hiring has strengthened our Goodwill community as well as all those we serve.
Click the button bellow to learn more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month.