Making your office more accessible for those with disabilities in the workplace not only creates a more welcoming environment, but also allows a business to find new efficiencies and not to mention grow the local economy.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few projects that make excellent ideas for making a workplace more available to those with disabilities, and all the associated advantages.
Work on Creating Access Paths Through the Business
Access paths simply refer to how employees move from one spot at the workplace to another. There’s a lot to consider here – one of the easiest projects is turning steps into ramps for wheelchair accessibility (trust us, no one is going to complain about using a ramp instead of stairs, even if they don’t need it). Likewise, all doors should be wide enough to admit wheelchairs.
Renovate Bathrooms If Necessary
It’s actually fairly easy to renovate a bathroom to be more friendly toward the disabled. Make sure there is enough space for a wheelchair user to turn around, and provide grab bars for convenience and safety on at least one stall. Make sure sinks, faucets, and towels are all easy to use and easily accessed by those who may not be able to get up or more around very easily. This is also a great tip for kitchens and employee eating areas!
Don’t Forget About the Parking Lot
Do you have parking spots that are close to the workplace? Do you have a process to reserve them for those who have injuries or disabilities? Not every business gets a lot of choice when it comes to their parking situations and what parking they can offer. However, if you do have parking options, this is an easy step to make and will help make your workplace much more inclusive – and friendly to any customers that might need one of these spots as well!
Support Those with Spine Issues By Offering Ergonomic Chairs and Standing Desks
Back pain is an incredibly common and debilitating problem in the modern office. It can cost hours in productivity and is a frequent source of compensation claims. Fortunately, there’s a lot a business can do to improve safety and health at work. This includes offering standing desk options for those who may not be able to sit for long periods of time, providing alternative seating, and making sure that your office chairs are as ergonomic as possible.
Offer Braille for Larger Workplaces
If your workplace is large enough that someone with a sight-based disability may have trouble knowing where they are, you can include braille to indicate conference rooms, separate offices, bathrooms, and other important locations. It’s an inexpensive measure that can make a lot of difference!
Make Sure All Doors are Easily Operated
Not ready for a big renovation project quite yet? At least make sure that all your doors are easily opened, preferably with push levers and similar designs. This can help many different workers who may be dealing with injuries or disabilities, and it’s a great way to make sure that all exits in the building follow proper fire safety protocols at the same time.