Approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability. But according to Scope, disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. It’s clear that too many companies are falling short when it comes to creating an inclusive workplace.
So, what can companies do better? First, let’s start with a refresher on disability inclusion.
What is disability inclusion?
Disability inclusion at work means valuing everyone’s role, whether their disability is visible or not. It’s more than encouragement, it’s making sure there are effective measures that help to eliminate barriers. The Equality Act legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and wider society. No one should feel excluded or discriminated against because of their disability.
It’s 2021. Discrimination of any kind is not OK. So, how can we make our disabled colleagues feel more comfortable and included at work?
Employers need to understand the impact of disability and make the necessary adjustments. By providing the right tools and accessibility, you’re promoting an equal workplace for all. Leaders should be open about disability and need to be ready to make reasonable adjustments to support disabled colleagues inclusively.
Review your recruitment processes
If a person with disabilities is met with barriers during the application or interview process, this can be an insight into the company’s treatment of disabled colleagues. A person with disabilities may be met with obstacles that others wouldn’t even notice and may forego applying altogether.
If you want to find out how to create a more inclusive workplace for your disabled colleagues, just ask. It sounds simple, but many workplaces make assumptions. Even with the best intentions, the way to find out where you need to improve is to get the information from those it impacts. They will be the ones to benefit from it directly. Although the entire workplace will benefit too.
You may find that being open about disability can make people feel vulnerable. Especially if they haven’t disclosed it to their colleagues, so make sure there are confidential ways to provide feedback and suggestions.
Look at your marketing material
Your communications need to work for everyone. Imagine not being able to understand a staff notice or hear a safety video clearly. Here are a few ideas to make your communications more inclusive:
- Think about the font, text size, and colour pallet
- Create audio descriptive or subtitled versions of videos
- Offer printed materials in Braille
- Ensure a sign language interpreter is present at events or meetings for hearing impaired colleagues
Making these changes and providing practical options will benefit your clients and customers outside of work too, meaning even more people can engage with your content. Bonus.
Get in touch
At Equally Placed, we’re advocates for all things equality. Companies that create positive and inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities have access to even more talented individuals. We are here to help workplaces create a more inclusive workplace so if you need support with any of the above, get in touch with our team.