It’s important for Australian businesses to increase inclusivity and accessibility for current and future employees. Disabled peoples in Australia are less likely to be employed than those without, and it’s important to take steps to increase the chances of employing people with disabilities and impairments. Getting started and understanding the needs of disabled people can be tricky, so read through this article to help your business become a more inclusive and accustoming workplace for all your employees.
Over 13 million people in Australia have long term or chronic eye conditions, and workplaces should cater for this need. It should be essential to provide braille so employees with vision issues can read any signs they need to be safe and follow the rules correctly.
Handrails are anchored on walls or posts to provide support for anyone who needs it. A great place for them is running along staircases for people who have any trouble with walking, balance and even sight problems can get the support they need.
Areas that need stairs to access will also need a ramp. Anyone with walking impairments that need a walking stick or wheelchair will need ramps to gain access to that area. There are a number of solutions for this, if it’s a few steps there are ramps that can be designed to just be easily placed down for wheelchairs, or there can be alternative ramps installed alongside or nearby staircases.
Any workplace should cater to the needs of its workers, and disabled bathrooms are no exception. Along with the other facilities, they need to be looked after, cleaned and provided with the right facilities, including toilet paper, and a low accessible sink.
People with disabilities usually have more difficulty than most to move around, so it should be a priority to provide them with the right parking. This allows them to travel to and from their vehicle with as little trouble as necessary. Some work sites may have their own parking so it can be a good idea to cater for disabled parking bollards, or safety barriers, expandable safety barriers to indicate exactly where the disabled parking is.
Awareness and Training
For a workplace to be a truly inclusive place that doesn’t discriminate and caters for everyone, it needs to take the steps to provide education for all the workers. Run mandatory courses for everyone to take, so they know where the disabled facilities are, and how to use them. The course should illustrate the importance of being inclusive and non-discriminatory to everyone, no matter, race, sex, sexual orientation, personal pronouns, religion or disabilities.
Proactively Employ People with Disabilities
Australians with a disability have a 30% less likely chance to get a job. It should be a priority to provide work for all those that are suitable for the job, gender, race, religion, and disabilities shouldn’t negatively impact an interview. Keep employment numbers up, and employ the people who would be great for the job.
Supply Ergonomic and Custom Equipment for Disabled People
Make the working life easier for your workers, by providing those with a disability with the right equipment that suits their needs. Maybe they need a special kind of keyboard to type on, or even a custom-designed office chair that caters to their specific needs. For a lunch area, install it with the right equipment, such as adaptive switches and utensils.
Supply Assistive Digital Technologies
Sometimes to make a disabled person’s job easier, it doesn’t always require a special kind of tool or piece of hardware, but instead software. If you have a website, design it so it can cater to their needs. For example, if they have visual impairments design a website to be voice-activated. If there is a television in the break room ensure the closed captions are turned on so it can be watched by everyone.
Actively Implement Changes Requested by People with Disabilities
This list is by no means definitive, every workplace is different and every person is unique, and sometimes listening to those with a disability is a great step in making their work-life more manageable. Every workplace should be designed so the workers can do their work safely and efficiently, and if one of them has a suggestion to make it that little bit better, take steps to implement this. If they’re a person who is disabled, they know their disability best, and wouldn’t be suggesting it otherwise.