How to Equip your Business to Support Those with a Disability
Today there’s still an unfortunate reality in the workplace for many individuals with disabilities, that they find their working life being made more difficult due to a lack of supportive facilities. Often these are also issues that could be easily resolved.
So, to help business owners who might have concerns they are not helping their staff enough, here are a few examples of what can be done to improve the situation.
Firstly, it can be useful to train staff to be more aware and sensitive to the issues their colleagues might have or face. This can not only help prevent any further problems, but it can make a company work in a fairer and more compassionate way. There are many ways in which this can be done, including training courses and speaking with individuals to understand the challenges they face. This can make for a much better awareness within the work force and improve understanding between colleagues.
For those who need wheelchair access, or who need handrails or more space to move, having enough access essential. All corridors and doorways need to be clear and moreover have handrails, be wide enough to get through and have automatic opening and closing functions.
Many areas of the business which may seem like a non-challenging environment can be incredibly difficult for those to navigate with a disability. For example, going to the toilet can be a huge challenge for people who require use of a wheelchair. There have been known instances of disabled toilets being used as a spare cupboard!
Improve Transport Options
Any business vehicles may also need to be modified or changed to accommodate such individuals.
The added benefits to this of course is that you can also provide emergency transport for those who may need it, or simply give them the same personal or business travel accessibility as their co-workers. This doesn’t necessarily require wholesale changes either as there are specialist companies like Allied who can convert vehicles for such purposes.
Install Assistive Devices and Tech
Beyond accessibility, a business could also install assistive technology around their buildings. With the excellent range of technological advances, they is now a large variety of systems which can be installed to again improve accessibility in the workplace. Such examples of these include:
- Automatic or sensor-based lighting
- Braille displays and keypads
- Speech recognition systems
- Smartphones, pads and tablets with specialist apps and software installed
These simple yet effective changes can make all the difference to those who require extra help in getting around the work place.
Be Prepared to Listen
A business owner can of course ask those affected what they feel could be useful solutions to their issues. Asking for those who live with a disability what types of challenges they face and how this can be improved for them can help make for a much better workplace where everyone is catered for.
This honest testimony could quickly highlight the main problem areas and would be another great example of inclusivity, by directly involving those who need assistance. It might be that additional outside support is needed here, but there are Government schemes and initiatives in place to help with this.
The above steps should help to make a business a much more inclusive and supportive place. A final point with this is that a business can also notably improve its image and reputation by taking such action – in other words it can work to help attract the top talent and increase client numbers by demonstrating it works in a modern and comprehensive manner.