Traditional working environments are now shifting towards remote working, virtual events and video-conferencing meetings. As a result, all businesses need to ensure that employees with disabilities have equal access to the tools they need to perform their job role effectively.
Developing and providing accessible digital content to all employees is an essential part of creating a disability-inclusive workplace. The benefits of hiring and retaining a disabled employee are immeasurable for your business. Therefore, you mustn’t allow the coronavirus pandemic, and the changes to the workplace that followed, to interfere with your disability and accessibility goals.
Careers with Disabilities want to help employers enhance their digital accessibility; take a look at a few ways to help ensure all your employees can access your business’ digital tools:
Develop a Plan
As many businesses begin a transition away from the traditional workplace setting into remote and digital-based working, it is essential to make accessibility a priority from the start. Thinking about accessibility from the beginning will help make sure your existing employees with disabilities are not excluded and will ensure you are in a position to hire from a larger pool of people in the future.
Your plan should incorporate ways to assess and improve accessibility for a range of digital platforms your employees use. This includes websites, apps, online documents, and virtual meetings. Consult an IT team; internal or external, as well as your HR to make sure you are making all the right considerations.
Stay Up-to-Date with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
When unaware of potential access barriers, it can be challenging to understand whether your digital content is accessible. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are a valuable resource for all employers looking to make their business accessible; you will be made aware of access barriers you didn’t even know existed. We advise that employers meet level AA of these guidelines as a minimum.
Provide Assistive Technologies
Some of the most commonly used assistive technologies include screen magnifiers, screen readers and speech recognition tools. Many of these technologies are simple and inexpensive solutions. They increase accessibility and make it easier for your employee to perform their duties at work. We advise employers to research the different technologies available and offer them to a disabled employee if necessary.
Explore our funding advice to see if your business is eligible to claim financial support to help cover the cost of assistive technologies. Alternatively, you may want to consider applying for local assistance to help your business support and retain disabled employees.