Inclusion and equality are among the top reasons workplaces are making their facilities more accessible. Disabled individuals want to be able to do what everyone else can and go where everyone else can go. It can be viewed as unfair and exclusive when your workspace and facilities are designed in a way that does not consider all humans and their potential needs.
Yes, there are legal and safety aspects of workplace accessibilities, but today, companies must go beyond the minimum. This thought process goes past the company’s own doors. When hosting an event or going to a career fair, are employers thinking about potentially disabled attendees or applicants/candidates? When making fliers and promotional materials, is the marketing department considering individuals who have visual disabilities? Think about these seemingly minor obstacles that could be causing your own company to exclude individuals with disabilities.
Recent research studies convey the widespread economic benefits from making workplaces more accessible for people with disabilities. If companies were to make some minor adjustments and rethink their floor design to a more human-centric focus, there would be potential for over 500,000 individuals with disabilities to be employed. The studies also discuss previously employed individuals who became disabled and wanted to go back to work, but they felt that there were still improvements needed to be made to their facilities and workspaces before they could return.
The culture of the organization should also be considered. Employers can make the physical aspects of their facility accessible, but the mindset and the culture can sometimes prevent disabled individuals from entering. Taking the time to train upper management and encourage communication about how to become an inclusive company is a best practice to adopt the right company culture. Behaviors can be modified, and overall company decisions can be made such as flextime, telework, and other accommodations to improve access to all.