Any business owner wants to attract the best talent. But how can you improve your workforce if your business is not accessible? There are approximately 7 million disabled working-aged adults in the UK – this is a large number to exclude, simply because the working environment is not up to scratch.
To help, here’s what you need to make your business more accessible for disabled staff.
Is the outside of your office or business premises accessible? You may think so because there are no steps, but you need to look further. For example, if the main door is heavy, this could pose an issue to both wheelchair and non-wheelchair users. Solve this and make external access easier with automatic doors or a disabled button.
Similarly, how easy is it to move around the office? For wheelchair users, there must be enough space to get around desks and move through corridors. While for non-wheelchair users, it’s vital to ensure that walkways are clear and free of tripping hazards.
For those living with a disability, completing daily tasks can be more difficult. This means that adjustments must be made. This could include adjustable desks, a lower kitchen workspace, ensuring the communal dining tables are of wheelchair height, easy access to sockets, or investing in an Allied Fleet minibus conversion.
How can a workplace be accessible if not all staff are able to read signs? The answer is it can’t. To solve this, make sure all signage is in large font and includes braille. Also consider other text documents, such as menus, business cards, brochures, etc.
To be a truly accessible business, there must be a positive culture amongst employees. The best way to achieve this is through training. Organise sessions and classes about disability to provide greater inclusivity and foster a healthy working environment.
In addition to altering office layout, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff – as laid out in the Equality Act 2010. This could include providing more breaks, flexibility on shift times, or working remotely.
Businesses rely on technology, so use it to assist your disabled employees, too. There are loads of pieces of tech that could benefit, software (for reading, listening, speech recognition), apps (sign language, text-typing), or gadgets (braille tablets and coloured keyboards).
There you have it, Clever Friends. Have you implemented any of these changes in your workplace? Got any more tips? Let us know.