Making Your Office Accessible
Being inclusive, diverse, and accessible are no longer just buzzwords – they never were. It is something that your business should always strive to achieve.
Specifically, looking at the accessibility of your office will make a big difference and how broad you can make your talent pool, and know that you are catering for the maximum number of people.
When it comes to accessibility, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
It is more important than ever to note that while many disabilities are apparent to outside observers, millions of people have invisible disabilities. And just because they are invisible does not mean that you shouldn’t look to adapt your working environment to make sure you include these people.
It is estimated that around 30% of the workforce has a disability, visible or invisible. And further to this, there are likely to be more people who keep their disability a secret due to Prejudice within the workplace.
Hidden disabilities can include chronic pain, cerebral palsy, visual impairments, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, depression, other mental health issues, and hearing loss.
You should prepare your business for invisible disabilities just as much as visible ones.
Ideally, your business should be striving to make sure that they are as accessible to everyone as possible. And it well that is a tremendous overarching objective, you need to make sure you start small and implement all of the small systems to help people in general.
Often, some of the first places you can look are to have something to aid where there are stairs within the building. Often the best course of action here is to have a lift installed from Sheridan Lifts into the building if there is not 1, or ensure regular maintenance for a pre-existing lift.
You can also ensure that you have the correct devices to ensure that hearing aids are used well within the building. You consider those with visual impairments when you are printing signage and more.
You can make your office building as accessible as possible; it is not just about adding rail to your signage and having a loop system for a hearing aid. Instead, you should be looking to make sure that the tools and technology across the devices that your team uses are accessible.
This might mean that you need to adjust to the monitor’s, color-coded keyboard, screen reader software availability, sign language apps. If you use a platform such as Microsoft Office, you make sure that you have all of the accessibility options.
You must understand where you have weaknesses within your team. While most people will say they do not discriminate, this can be an unconscious bias.
Have regular and thorough training for your team, hiring managers, human resources, and more. This will mean that you have prepared your team to be as accessible and inclusive as your office.
Are you looking to maximize your team? Check out: Teamwork – Start Your Business Magazine.