Disability Inclusion in the Workplace & Why It Matters

What is Disability Inclusion?

As the working world continues to evolve, there are new opportunities companies can take for disability inclusion in the workplace. More than 61 million adults in the United States have a disability. HR professionals who manage recruitment can make positive choices that will translate to overall happiness, growth, and success when they focus on inclusion.


Why Disability Inclusion in the Workplace MattersA person with disabilities in the workplace

Disability inclusion means understanding how people function and participate in society to ensure that everybody gets the same opportunities to participate in life as they wish. This also applies to inclusion in the workplace.

Disability inclusion is crucial to existing employees, as well as those who will apply in the future. Companies that aren’t taking the steps toward disability inclusion are losing out on quality talent. If potential employees sense that your company isn’t inclusive, they’ll likely look elsewhere for a job. Companies with a strong disability inclusion plan can expand their catching net to impressive talent and increased employee retention.


Develop a Disability Inclusion Plan & Make Adjustments to Hiring Practices

Building out a disability inclusion plan is the first step to fostering a more accepting and open company. To do that, companies must take a step back and analyze areas that could be considered roadblocks for those with a disability. A report released in 2018 said that disability-inclusive companies had 28% higher revenue, double the net income, and 30% higher economic profit margins. By removing barriers in hiring, communications, and physical barriers – a company can only improve.

Remove Barriers in Hiring

Work with your company’s HR professional to look over the current recruiting and hiring processes in place and make recruitment etiquette adjustments for disability inclusion. This could mean adding inclusive language in your job ads or making language adjustments to the interview process. Changing the interview process can include developing a different evaluation process for those with a mental or physical disability.

Companies can also take a more proactive approach to disability inclusion in recruiting and hiring. Candidates who have faced bias in the workplace and recruiting process in the past may be more hesitant to apply. Companies looking to be more inclusive to the disability community can take charge of networking with communities that support disability inclusion and college career centers.

It may sound like a lot of added work for you and your HR team, but even the smallest changes to your recruiting and hiring process can make a world of difference.

[Related: Benefits of Hiring Employees With Disabilities]

Accessible Information & Communications

Whether an employee with disabilities works in the office or remotely from home, they should have the same accessibility to your company’s information and communications. Companies can combine their HR and IT team’s efforts to create an easy, secure way for employees with disabilities to access everything they need for their job, no matter where they are working.

Physical BarriersSign for disability accessibility

The ADA requires employers to provide access for individual employees with a disability to perform the essential functions of their job. This includes access to a building, worksite, necessary equipment, and all employees’ facilities. Areas that must have accessibility include:

  • Parking Spaces
  • Entrances/Exits
  • Conference Rooms
  • Desks & Personal Work Space
  • Elevators
  • Restrooms
  • Cafeterias or Break Rooms
  • And More

The Guide to the ADA Standards provides more information on physical accessibility in the workplace.

Get started on creating disability inclusion in your company’s workplace by contact Employer Support Services (ESS) today. Our team of HR professionals can help your company make the necessary adjustments for a more progressive workplace.

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