2.2 million Australians of working age are living with a disability. Their varied experiences, challenges and skills, can contribute additional value to any workplace, making it important to consider accessibility and the ability to accommodate employees with different mobility needs in the workplace. Employees with a disability represent a substantial opportunity for businesses.
34% of people with a disability are managers or professionals – so if you’re not set up to accommodate a diverse workforce, you could be missing out on valuable talent.
Studies show that employing a person with a disability costs no more than hiring someone without a disability. Furthermore, 1 in 3 people living with a disability have terminated their transactions with a business when they found that they did not have good values in their dealings and employment of people with a disability.
An inclusive workplace can also help to enhance and build your reputation and brand. Both employees and customers have shown to be more loyal to organisations that demonstrate good values, reflecting on your business and community. Furthermore, by indicating this, it is more likely that you will improve customer retention, giving you an advantage over your competitors.
Research has also shown that workers with a disability have a lower absence, employee turnover and workplace injury. This all helps to ensure effective business and mitigate risk.
Here are some of our top tips for making your workplace more accessible:
1. Have clear disability inclusion
The best start for having an inclusive workplace is to work from the top down. Your company needs to have clear disability inclusion. This should be clear on how people with a disability should be accommodated, how to make sure recruitment processes are accessible for all people, and the products and services needed to make your workplace disability friendly for both employees and consumers.
2. Consider access across the building
Ramps are an easy way to provide accessibility for disabled customers and employees.
This may include physical access to your office or shop floor, including ramps, wheelchair lifts, or space to manoeuvre walkers and mobility scooters. You may also want to consider whether desks can be adjusted to suit those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
3. Make sure you are consulting people with diverse needs in your procurement and product development
People living with a disability are your best resource when it comes to creating a diverse workplace. People with a disability are confronted with a many challenges a day that are easily overlooked by those who are not aware of them. Make sure you are regularly liaising with employees and customers with different abilities, including on how your products, shop stores and office spaces are designed.
Workplaces often forget spaces like the kitchen or common areas during audits. Including a focus group can help avoid any oversights.
Making sure that your organisation is welcoming and inclusive of people with a disability is not only good for business, it’s also the right thing to do.
At Life Mobility, we exist to make sure that people living with a disability are able to lead an independent lifestyle. We understand that each person’s needs are unique and require a unique solution. You can view our range of mobility products, or contact us for assistance.