Approximately 1.5 billion individuals worldwide have a form of disability, and some businesses often ignore their value and welfare. It is completely important to make sure you support disabled workers and recruit new incapacitated employees.
Hiring incapacitated individuals means increasing your talent pool, boosting productivity, attracting highly qualified candidates, and improving team performance. To help you achieve all these, here is how you can take care of disabled workers:
- Train Every Worker
Supervisors or managers are the ears and eyes of the company. As a matter of fact, the law deems that whatever managers know is what your business knows. This means that employers failing to train their supervisors on dealing with accommodation requests are up for a lawsuit.
These requests can be in different forms and always simple to recognize. However, you don’t have to put these requests in writing.
- Make Reasonable Adjustments
Under equality laws, workers have the responsibility to make realistic adjustments for disabled employees. This might mean providing extra support or removal of physical barriers for disabled employees.
In most cases, making adjustments can include installing truncated domes to wheelchair ramps, parking lots, travel paths, and entrances. Although these adjustments will depend on your business’s nature and size, you can make them inexpensive and simple.
- Offer Accommodations
Decreased levels, flexible schedules, temporarily reduced duties, part-time work, and working from home can help incapacitated workers a lot.
For instance, if you have a worker diagnosed with cancer, fatigue and weakness can be prominent when workers get radiation or chemotherapy. Disabled workers can also benefit from workplace or workstation accommodations like furniture and office equipment.
- Have an Open Dialogue
At times, in order to accommodate workers, you have to ask specific questions regarding your new worker’s disability. Being unsure and inquisitive is great, provided you channel that uncertainty in the form of questions instead of mere assumptions or presumptive statements.
Always be keen on what you ask and how the response will help your workers succeed in their positions. This may establish a positive and healthy relationship for everyone involved.
- Make Assistive Technology Available
Physical disabilities need special accommodations. For example, if your business premise lacks wheelchair access, you will have to set up a lift so that your workers can independently and safely report to work. However, invisible disabilities, like mental health conditions and communication disorders, will need a different strategy. You can allow them to shift their working hours or work remotely from time to time so as to be more productive while prioritizing their health.
Beyond that, you can also provide other assistive technologies like listening devices, specialized screen readers, and color-coded keyboards.
Individuals living with a disability have long been underrepresented or excluded in the workforce, depending on preconceived notions and low expectations regarding their abilities. The signing of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has opened the doors for employment and inclusion for millions of disabled people, though a culture of misunderstanding and stigma has pervaded, particularly when it comes to job employment.
Though in recent years, there is an increase in activism and conversion regarding equal opportunity and fair representations for incapacitated individuals in business. As a result of this, the working world is changing, and not just in terms of inclusion.