The US government has taken steps to protect certain groups that are believed to be at risk for discrimination. One of these groups is disabled and physically impaired. In fact, it is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act that employers make reasonable accommodations for the physically disabled in their workplaces. With this in mind, below are five steps you should take to make your workplace more accessible for disabled employees.
One issue some people have to deal with is a work desk that was not designed with the disabled in mind. Such desks may be fine with your office chairs. However, they may not be appropriate for those with a wheelchair. Make sure to invest in desks that are height adjustable.
Braille on Signs
Your workplace may also need to accommodate the legally blind. While this can be a challenge, it can be easier if you take certain precautions. When updating your signage throughout your offices and workspaces, choose signs specially designed to conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA signs include braille positioned under the normal text that can be read by the blind.
One thing you need to be aware of is the fact that many disabled people can’t climb stairs. If your workplace is not on the first level of a building, you need to provide alternatives to the staircase. Usually, this requires installing an elevator. This can be expensive. However, it is typically required for new buildings and renovations.
Computer Equipment and Software
Disabled Americans might also require specialized computer equipment and software to perform office work. What is required depends on the individual. You may need, for example, to install voice recognition software. Alternatively, you may need to purchase a keyboard with larger keys than normal.
Ramps for wheelchairs should also be installed throughout your building. Anywhere there is a step, there should also be a corresponding ramp or elevator. If you are renovating your building, make installing the appropriate ramps a priority. Also, make sure to install the corresponding railing for those ramps for safety reasons.
Overall, you must make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. It’s required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s also the right thing to do. The list above is only a starting part in regard to the different accommodations you could make for disabled employees. Taking these steps can allow all employees to excel within your company. It is always worth the extra investment.