Committing to becoming a disability-friendly employer is the first step to creating a more diverse working environment. Careers with Disabilities recommend taking practical steps towards creating an accessible atmosphere.
Employers should consider how to adapt the workplace to accommodate people with both physical and mental disabilities. There is a common misconception that someone with a disability is easily recognisable. In fact, many visible and non-visible disabilities manifest in a variety of ways.
Careers with Disabilities recommend making some simple changes to your workplace. These adjustments could could have a drastic impact on your employee’s ability to excel in their role.
Register with the Disability Confident Scheme
Disability Confident is a government scheme that helps empower employers to be proactive in hiring and retaining disabled employees. This is an essential first step to make towards becoming disability-friendly.
There are three levels of the Disability Confident scheme: Committed, Employer and Leader. Committed is the first level, and to qualify your business will only need to agree to the Disability Confident commitments. To register with the Disability Confident scheme, visit the government website.
Adapt your workplace
Creating an accessible environment is essential to help encourage and retain disabled people in your workplace. You should be willing to adapt to the needs of each individual. Many employers panic at the thought of the costs involved in hiring a disabled person. It is important to understand there is government funding available to help your business make these essential changes.
The changes to your environment must be specific to meet the needs of your employee. They could include offering a flexi-time schedule, creating quiet working stations, providing assistive technologies or installing a wheelchair ramp.
Recruit disabled people
There are many benefits to hiring and retaining disabled staff. Taking the step to actively recruit disabled people into your business is an easy, and obvious way to increase the diversity and inclusivity of your workforce. It is essential to consider the adjustments or accommodations you may need to make in your recruitment process to ensure it is accessible to all, including people living with a disability.
Mental health and wellbeing at work
One in six people in England report that they experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, in any given week. Mental health conditions can have a drastic impact on an individual’s quality of life including their ability to perform their role at work effectively.
A mental health condition is considered to be a disability if it has a long-term effect on someone’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Employers must be open to discussion about mental health, and willing to make the changes to help people manage their symptoms. There are simple ways that your workplace can support people struggling with their mental health. These include providing free counselling, encouraging openness, and offering a flexi-time contract.
To find out more information about making your workplace accessible to disabled people, take the time to explore our dedicated guide on how to become a disability-friendly employer.