Today, approximately 1.2 billion individuals globally live with a disability. Around 83% of these individuals became disabled between the age of 20 and 65 at their prime working years.
However, in many corporate boardrooms, disability presence has not risen as the C-suite agenda. In fact, a recent report indicates that the disability topic rarely comes up on the leadership agenda; thus, risking the safety of disabled employees. This is why as a business owner, you must do something to improve disability inclusion through the following ways:
- Come up with an Inclusive Culture
Businesses, which are very inclusive of employees with disabilities handle their culture in different ways. Some survey attitudes of workers and invite them to self-identity, while others choose to nominate a support disability-specific resource group and diversity champion. Including seniors in awareness and messaging efforts can help to underscore the need for inclusion.
For instance, you can partner with outside groups, like the Michigan Alliance on Autism and its program. This way, you can have a disability advisory council, which meets quarterly to concentrate on various constituency issues.
- Offer Soft Skills Training
Typically, there is an ongoing awareness across the training industry about the need for soft skills training. It is extremely vital to offer this training to disabled employees so as to understand every aspect of how to succeed at work.
Offering soft skills can also be essential in light of the challenges some disabled individuals might face with social abilities. For instance, people with autism usually make it through the interview because of the traditional hiring models relying on interpersonal skills.
- Ensure Remote Work and Flexible Hours
In some instances, regardless of how accessible your company is, it cannot be enough for individuals with serious mobility impairments. In these situations, consider if your disabled workers can work part-time hours or remotely. Ensure to include this in job descriptions for new positions you want to hire for. Remember to speak to your current disabled workers and provide them equal opportunities.
However, for most, the capability to work from home can save time and relieve the stress of community to their job off the shoulders, not to mention, they will feel productive and valuable.
- Consider Delectable Warnings
The guidelines of ADA have regulated the use of detectable warning surfaces in public places and business premises. Usually referred to as tactile warning surfaces, detectable warnings can be applied to the walkways, sideways, and other walking areas.
You can also provide sensory signals through truncated domes to make sure your disabled workers are safe at the edge of sidewalks and where there are changes at the surface elevation.
- Listen Well and Speak Clearly
When working with individuals who have a developmental disability or other cognitive problems, be sure to use simple words, concrete concepts, and clear sentences. Gauge the vocabulary, pace, and complexity of your speech so as to match theirs.
Unless you are enlightened, remember that disabled workers may make their own choices. Therefore, ensure you allow individuals with speech problems to finish their sentences and don’t interrupt or speak on their behalf.
On the outside, you can assume that just because of the ADA, full equality will prevail, and discrimination won’t happen for every individual with a disability staying in the US. This same thinking is comparable to the idea that racism will not exist just because there is a Black American Vice-President.
Abled or disabled-bodied all have the responsibility and power to make society more comfortable for every person.