As an employer, it’s essential to be aware of different visible disabilities to ensure that you can provide the correct care for your employees. Some considerations you might need to make, include an awareness of the workplace environment, financial aid, social and emotional support, and technological assistance.
It is your job as the employer to ensure disabled people can overcome any substantial barriers to them completing their work and progressing in their careers. The government provides information on what they describe as ‘reasonable adjustments’ which you must make to support disabled employees and those with long term health conditions. These adjustments will differ depending on the specific visible disability; for information on invisible disabilities, look at our page here.
Visible disabilities include:
- Hearing impairment (partial or complete loss)
- Visual impairments (Including loss of central or peripheral vision, blurred or hazed vision, light sensitivity)
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Down’s Syndrome
- Tourette Syndrome
The adjustments required to fit these visible disabilities’ needs can often be minimal and come with little or no cost. For more information about funding for disabled employees, visit our page. With some small changes, you can make sure that your business is disability-inclusive and does not exclude great potential talent.
These adjustments include:
Changing your recruitment process
The small choices you make from the very beginning of a recruitment process can significantly impact who can access your job. For those with visual impairments, the font, size, and colour of the writing in job advertisements are essential in determining whether they can digest the information. You may also want to consider producing physical publications with brail for those with complete vision loss.
Allowing for different interview styles can also permit for those with visible disabilities to be assessed more fairly. The traditional sit down, time-limited interview may not suit every candidate. By diversifying this process, you are ensuring everybody has a better chance to demonstrate their skills effectively.
Making physical changes in the workplace
A standard office environment may not be accessible to everybody. For example, suppose there is no ramp or lift in your building. In this case, a wheelchair user would not be able to enter safety and comfortably. Other considerations include ensuring there is enough space in the building for those with physical disabilities that may hinder mobility; they might need extra space between desks or a handrail in the bathroom. Those with visible disabilities may also require different office conditions regarding temperature and light. Talk to each employee individually to see how you can meet their needs.
When, where, and how somebody works best may be affected by a visible disability. By allowing for flexible working hours, remote working, working on a different floor, etc., you are including those with visible disabilities in your organization, allowing each employee to get the best out of their day’s work. It is essential to acknowledge that some disabilities will impair people from working at a specific time or on certain days, and they may also need to be available for hospital appointments. Providing flexibility relating to a working routine is essential for disabled employees’ safety and wellbeing.
Check what technology and equipment you could provide to make a disabled employer more comfortable at work. For example, someone with arthritis may need a specific keyboard, or somebody with a visual impairment may require a personal computer with audio functions. These things are easy to change and can make a massive difference to your disabled employees, allowing them to work more effectively and efficiently. In turn, this will contribute positively to the business’ success.