The barriers faced by disabled employees will vary from individual to individual, depending on a whole range of factors. In many cases, the disability itself may prevent people from working in certain jobs, whilst in other cases, there are a range of preventable physical, historical and attitudinal barriers that can make work more difficult for those living with a disability. For example, people with certain disabilities may not know that the job opening exists due to it only being advertised on platforms that they are unable to access. They may also have stated requirements for the job such as ‘driving essential’ when public transport may be perfectly acceptable. Simply being unable to access the interview venue can also hold somebody with a disability back from getting the job that they want. Here are some of the best ways in which employers and employees can work together to help disabled workers overcome some of the most common barriers.
Make the Workplace Accessible for All:
Many offices have flights of stairs which employees have no choice but to climb if their job is on an upper level. For those with a physical disability which prevents them from walking or makes it difficult to climb stairs, this will prevent talented people from getting the job that they want. For employers, making their workplace more accessible for people with all kinds of disabilities will ensure an equal and diverse hiring process. In addition, it will prevent employers from holding themselves back and limiting themselves when it comes to the talent that they hire.
Working from Home Options:
Depending on a number of different factors, many people who live with a disability will find it difficult to come into the workplace every day of the working week. Working from home options are becoming more and more popular amongst many industries for both disabled and non-disabled workers, with several studies showing that employees who are given the option to work from home are more motivated and satisfied in their job. A similar alternative is working for yourself; trading on easyMarkets, for example, is a self-controlled alternative to regular employment that also doesn’t require the participant to travel to a workplace, thereby saving on transport costs as well as providing more flexibility than being an employee.
Finally, many disabled workers face historical, attitudinal barriers that can make it harder for them to find a job that they enjoy and excel at. Make a conscious effort in your workplace to banish misconceptions that somehow disabled applicants will not be as good as non-disabled applicants, and forget the myths surrounding disabled workers, for example that they will be more likely to take time off sick, as this is certainly not always the case. In addition, don’t think that employing a disabled person is going to be expensive in terms of providing reasonable adjustments. Most will only require very few if any adjustments, and the investment will likely pay off for your workplace in the long-term.
Although the world is progressing when it comes to giving disabled people equal opportunities at work, employers today still have a long way to go.