The human spirit is one of ability, preservance and courage that no disability can steal away, this phrase clearly defines that if your goal is focused than nothing can stop you to achieve it. There is a number of people worldwide who are physically challenged have made their country proud by their hard work and success story without letting their disability come in the way. Whereas, if we look around, there are many talents who have become the victim of discrimination during their entire carrier and professional life for being physically disabled. For such offensive behavior the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was incorporated by the Parliament of Australia to reduce discrimination against people with disabilities. Hence, it was declared that disabled people should be given the opportunity to enter the workspace with the same rights as other people in offices.
Going by this enactment many companies have started making necessary adjustments to the workplace environment or working arrangements for a person with a disability to do their job hassle free. It is observed that workers with disabilities are more productive than their co-workers and that they are less absent from work and shows great loyalty towards their company while working in a sophisticated environment. There are some prominent companies such as, IBM, KPMG, Aetna, Ernst & young etc. who have received several awards for their efforts towards fostering an inclusive workspace culture and offering benefits like onsite fitness centres, infrastructure benefits and many more for disabled workers.
Here we have examined some of the sound solutions and strategies to deal with the physically disabled person. As it is one of the vital approach for any organization to treat their employees as an assets of the company and provide them with every possible ways of an ideal and delightful workspace from designing a disabled friendly workspace to encourage with healthy environment which helps them to feel better and comfortable in a cozy working culture.
Here’s how to make your workplaces disabled friendly:
Transform your workspace with a well designed office structure: While designing your workspace it is important to make the proper use of open areas where your staff will love working. The office interior is all about creating unconventional lounge areas with comfortable setup and collab-friendly office destination that allows workers to experience the joyful environment with relaxing vibes.
Provide reasonable accommodation at the workplace: In every workplace, the employers should properly and reasonably accommodate the requirements of people who are suffering from a physical disability. It can be related to the working environment, a person’s specific impairment and the other functions like making the office space more accessible to the persons by providing adaptive office furniture and other equipment like parking close to the building and building a ramp to ensure wheelchair access.
You should offer a freely accessible workplace: The companies should not avoid making the work freely accessible at the workplace. If you are offering a freely accessible place to the disable employees it will help them to move around the workplace, get their work done and enjoy the time while working.
Focus on health and well-being of the employees: Office workers health and well-being should be a priority, especially at disabled-friendly workplaces that are often overlooked by many organizations. The company who provides different activity zones, relaxation rooms and sleeping pods at their workplace helps employees to work efficiently and effectively.
Provide enough office space with suitable workstations and seating: As an employer, you must protect the safety and health of every worker in your company. This includes people with disabilities. You may need to make alterations and changes in your office interiors by accommodating physical features for disabled employees, providing flexible and enough room with well-fitted workstations and proper rearrangements of office furniture so that a wheelchair user can mobilize easily and relax whenever they want. Provide properly maintained premises and work equipment with fine floors and ensure that traffic routes free from obstruction.
Make sure that you are providing assistive technology at the workplace: Assistive technology covers many tech aspects under one roof which includes adaptive devices for people with disability. This technology works as an opportunity for a physically challenged person to be more positive and to be an active part of the workplace. If your company invests in the right assistive technology, apps and online tools it supports disabled employees to carry out their job responsibilities without any hindrance. Some common assistive technology aids include color-coded keyboards, refreshable braille displays, specialized screen reader software, assistive listening devices, speech recognition and browsers that provide a user-friendly and customization web interface.
Get a better understanding through this video where a commercial real estate expert shared his views on what employers need to know about disability and how to provide reasonable accommodation at their workplace:
(YouTube credits: Real Estate 101)
As per census measurements and statistics “With 26.8 million disabled persons in the country, India has a long way to go before it can be called a disabled-friendly nation. So feel good about creating an environment in your organization for diversity to thrive in, be conscientious in your efforts to ensure that disability does not result in exclusion.”
At last, every company should incorporate the barrier free environment at their workplaces for the disabled employees so that the workers can feel safer with better accessibility. Also, we would love to know about what you think of making a workplace a disabled free environment, share your thoughts in the comment section below!