When we consider inclusivity in the workplace, we often consider gender, ethnicity, and nationality. However, there’s another critical form of diversity that’s often overlooked: accessibility.
People with disabilities comprise a significant portion of the population, yet they’re often excluded from the workplace. This limits their opportunities and deprives businesses of the valuable perspectives and skills from the diverse pool of potential employees.
Making your workplace accessible sets the stage for a more inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. And while it may seem like a daunting task, there are some simple steps you can take to get started. Read on to learn more about fostering inclusivity in your workplace by making it accessible.
4 Effective Ways to Make Your Workplace More Accessible
With 30% of the workforce being people with disabilities, employers who want to be inclusive cannot afford to ignore accessibility in the workplace. Disabilities can be physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or developmental. And while some people with disabilities are visible, many others are not. Here are four ways to make your workplace more accessible:
1. Understand the Needs of People With Disabilities
To foster inclusivity in your workplace, you need to understand the needs of people with disabilities. What might seem like a minor inconvenience to you could be a significant barrier for someone with a disability.
For example, a flight of stairs may not be a big deal for someone able-bodied. But for someone who uses a wheelchair or has difficulty walking, it can be a major obstacle. Lack of Braille or audio signage can make navigating your workplace difficult for people with visual impairments.
Understanding the needs of people with disabilities will help you identify and remove barriers that could prevent them from fully participating in the workplace, ensure equal opportunity for everyone, and ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
2. Provide Accessible Technology
Technology has the potential to level the playing field for people with disabilities, but only if it’s accessible. Besides adjustable desks and monitors, screen reader software, and improved lighting, there are many other ways to make your workplace more accessible with technology.
Color-coded keyboards, text-to-speech programs, and closed captioning can help improve productivity and communication for people with visual, hearing, and cognitive impairments. One of our goals at Kingdom Branding is to make the internet accessible, inclusive & equitable.
- Inclusivity for everyone
- Attract new customers
- Comply with legislation
We work with accessiBe to provide you the option to make your website accessible easily and affordably. accessiBe’s AI-powered solution, accessWidget, seamlessly makes websites usable and ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliant. Your website may need adjustments for:
- Screen readers and keyboard navigation
- Alt tags for images
- Assignment of elemental structural roles
Under the American Disability act of 1990, businesses need to comply with accessible website functions. Since 2017 there has been a 300% year-over-year increase in lawsuits and demand letters hitting businesses of all sizes and industries. Save yourself a pricy lawsuit by implementing ADA-compliant technology to better provide access and foster inclusivity.
3. Implement Universal Design Principles
Universal design is an approach to design that considers the needs of all people, regardless of age, ability, or circumstance. It’s an inclusive approach that results in products, environments, and experiences that everyone can use to the greatest extent possible.
There are seven principles of universal design:
- Equitable use
- Flexibility in use
- Simple and intuitive use
- Perceptible information
- Tolerance for error
- Low Physical effort
- Size and space for approach and use
While these principles were originally developed for the built environment, they can also be applied to the design of products, services, and experiences. Incorporating universal design principles into your workplace can help ensure that it’s accessible and welcoming for everyone.
4. Foster a Culture of Inclusion
Disability bias often stems from a lack of understanding or exposure to people with disabilities. You might feel you don’t discriminate against people with disabilities, but if you’re not making an effort to include them in your workplace, then you’re likely perpetuating the cycle of exclusion.
Effective ways to foster a culture of inclusion include:
- Hiring people with disabilities: People with disabilities make up a large and untapped talent pool. Hiring them helps to break down barriers and brings new perspectives and skills to your workplace.
- Providing training on disability etiquette and awareness: Disability awareness training can help employees feel more comfortable interacting with people with disabilities. It can also help to dispel myths and misconceptions about disability.
- Encouraging open communication: Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about disability can help to break down barriers and foster a more inclusive culture.
Make Your Workplace Accessible and Position Yourself as an Ally
With these tips, you can create a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. By making your workplace accessible and fostering a culture of inclusion, you can position yourself as an ally to people with disabilities.
Kingdom Branding offers creative, cutting-edge brand and marketing solutions to small businesses. Our extensive experience in the industry ensures we tailor our services to meet your specific needs. Visit us online or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.