Steps for a Disabled-friendly Workplace
How do you get the best employees to work at your company? Start by making your company more inclusive. Even though you are not discriminating against employees with disabilities, you might not being doing all you can to make your workplace as disabled-friendly as possible. Here are five simple steps your business can implement to make your work environment more inclusive:
Human resource experts suggest modifying recruitment and hiring practices to reach more diverse audiences. HR toolkits for engaging and retaining diverse teams start with people feeling that they can talk about a disability without fear of reprisal. So, dissipating closed environments helps staff morale, decreases absenteeism and increases productivity.
You can play an important role in setting the tone for a shift toward increased diversity and inclusiveness. Optimize channels for feedback, open communications and help negate fears people hold about diversity. A focus on openness isn't about being perfect — mistakes can be used for learning without embarrassing or shaming individuals.
Encourage employees' interests outside the workplace by offering opportunities to interact where employees feel comfortable. Allow all employees to take part in decision-making and planning, and acknowledge such observations as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3).
Reasonable accommodation aims to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise human rights and fundamental freedoms equally with others. Making accommodations means necessary, appropriate modifications or adjustments that don't cost a lot of money.
Businesses need people with the ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances, and people with disabilities possess precisely these attributes. In the workplace, this translates to innovative thinking, fresh ideas and varied approaches to confronting challenges and achieving success.
A study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, shows that workplace accommodations not only are low-cost, but they also positively impact the workplace in many ways. JAN, in partnership with the West Virginia University School of Social Work, interviewed 1,157 employers between June 28, 2008, and July 31, 2016, representing a range of industry sectors and sizes. Results consistently showed that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low cost. Employers reported that providing accommodations resulted in reducing workers' compensation and training costs.
By providing documents in alternative formats, such as braille or large text, or making alternative arrangements for consultation meetings, such as holding them at an employee's home, you set the tone for your company's openness to offering everyone in the company an opportunity to succeed.
Let us know how we can help, especially when it comes to ADA compliance.
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