Thoughtful Ways To Accommodate And Support Employees With Disabilities

Research shows that about one billion people have some form of disability. Unfortunately, most businesses and organizations ignore them. But disregarding these individuals may prevent your business from getting candidates with more skills, talent, and increased performance. Studies have shown that most disabled individuals are highly-skilled and productive. 

If you want to see your business succeed, hire some disabled individuals. But before having them in your company, you need to have disability support services in place to ensure they’re comfortable. 

Here are some ways to accommodate and support employees with disabilities:

Tailor Interviews To Meet Their Needs

The first step of assisting disabled employees is making the recruitment process accessible for new prospects. This should go beyond just stating that your interview is adapted to meet different candidates’ needs. You need to ensure that the job descriptions and application forms are accessible to them.

Most disabled people can’t access or approach most recruitment agencies. So when searching for ideal candidates through an agency, work with an agency that offers accessible services—some ways of doing this include using large fonts to print documents and having brail and easy-to-read versions. Any online documents should be read clearly by the disabled. 

Also, in your job description, remove discriminatory factors that may deter candidates with disabilities from applying. Methods like taster days or telephone interviews may also help them complete application forms. 

Modify The Working Spaces And Conditions

Not all working conditions support the disabled. So if you want to recruit some of them, you’ll need to make some modifications. Employees suffering from conditions like autism, dyslexia, and ADHD may find loud noise, bright lights, and heavy wall patterns challenging to cope with.

You should consider offering noise-canceling headphones, natural lighting, and quieter rooms where they can retreat to while working to help such individuals. Alternatively, you may also allow them to work remotely from home.

Other tools you want to have in your premise include assistive technologies like voice recognition, amplified phones, hearing loop systems, and screen readers. Also, think of ways to transport your disabled employees to the office. If they can’t access public transport, arrange for transportation. 

If some of them have to meet clients outside the business premises, ensure the external venue is accessible for employees with movement issues. That way, you’ll avoid embarrassment and find time to look for other options. 

Pay Them Like You Pay Other Employees

You shouldn’t discriminate against your disabled employees during payment. Some people may opt to pay them lesser because they work fewer hours than other employees. Others may pay them higher because they sympathize with them.

You shouldn’t make disabled people feel like they should be thankful for the job you’ve given them. Instead, treat them fairly as you’d treat other employees. That way, you’ll earn a reputation of being an inclusive and diverse employer. The result? You’ll attract more talent and have a more engaged and collaborative workforce. 

The Bottom Line

It’s vital that your disabled employees feel comfortable. If you let them suffer at work, you’ll reduce their productivity, impacting your returns. These tips can help you make your organization more comfortable and accommodative for such individuals.