Photo of a white man with a disability kneeling in a greenhouse with some tomatoes.

As the workforce becomes more diverse, it’s important for employers to create a more accessible workplace that is welcoming to all. This means ensuring that all employees, including those with disabilities, can fully participate in work activities and have access to the same opportunities for growth and success as every other employee!  In the current employee shortage, finding employees is getting harder and harder.  The best part of being an inclusive employer is that you’re opening doors to all potential employees! Not only are you making your workplace more inclusive, but you will draw in employees who are looking for a socially responsible employer.  By taking steps to create a more accessible workplace, employers can comply with legal requirements, improve the well-being of their employees, and the productivity of their business.

A More Accessible Workplace

Here are five steps to create a more accessible workplace:

Conduct a accessibility audit

To start, it’s important to conduct an accessibility audit of the workplace. This can be done by reviewing the physical space of the workplace, as well as the technology, policies and procedures that are in place. It’s important to involve employees with disabilities in the audit process to ensure that their needs are taken into account. 

In fact, here at HireAbility Spokane, we can conduct this audit for you. Just give us a call and we’ll help you through this process. 

Make necessary modifications

Based on the results of the audit, make necessary modifications to the workplace to improve accessibility. This can include physical things like adding ramps, handrails, or automatic door openers. This can include other less obvious things, like ensuring that all technology used in the workplace is accessible to employees with disabilities. These practices can also have a very positive effect on your customers and potentially expand your customer base!

Provide accommodations

It’s important to provide accommodations to employees with disabilities to ensure that they can fully participate in work activities. This can include providing assistive technology, such as screen readers or speech recognition software, as well as providing flexible work schedules or job modifications to meet individual needs.

Train employees

To create a more inclusive workplace, it’s important to train all employees on inclusion practices! I recently attended a training around belonging that created amazing conversions and excitement about implementing these practices.  This can help to create a more welcoming and supportive work environment for all employees.

Regularly review and update policies and procedures

It’s important to regularly review and update policies and procedures to ensure that they are inclusive of all employees. This can include reviewing hiring practices, performance evaluations, and promotion opportunities to ensure that all employees have equal access to these opportunities.

By taking these steps, employers can create a more accessible workplace that is inclusive of all employees, including those with disabilities. This can not only improve the well-being of employees, but also the productivity and success of the business.

Remember, you can always get in touch with us if you need help getting started.