Persons with disabilities often possess above average to superior intelligence, having overcome major obstacles and display a positive, can-do attitude. Such individuals typically make great additions to professional staff in any industry. That said, prospective employers can execute certain actions that might make the work experiences of those befitting this category more favorable. Such acts include:
Avoid Using Potentially Discriminatory Labels
The use of discriminatory language could be insulting to someone possessing a disability. Above all, such individuals should always be thought of as a qualified person for the job first and someone with a disability second. For example, the proper wording to use is a ‘person with a disability’ and not referring to someone befitting that category as a ‘disabled person’.
Moreover, any words that might be construed as potentially insulting including but not limited to slow, challenged, handicapped, crazy or insane should never be spoken. This is good practice in any office, no matter the size, regardless if someone with a disability works there.
Ensure The Facility Is Accessible
Many states and municipalities mandate that offices and other workplaces be accessible for persons with physical disabilities. That said, such efforts should be made regardless. Places like restrooms should provide access to any number of disabilities. Additionally, walkways and hallways should be equipped with accessible ramps or other means of easy access.
Enable A Certain Degree Of Privacy
Certain types of disabilities are easy for other people to see. However, other disabilities, such as mental illnesses, might not be readily visible. In these instances, the employee in question should be given a certain degree of confidentiality. Employers should not force a person possessing a disability to disclose aspects of their circumstances that they are not comfortable discussing.
Reward Persons With Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities should receive the same rewards and recognition as every other employee. When such individuals excel, they should receive rewards such as raises and promotions as equally as any other individual might. Mental and physical capabilities should never play a role in employee evaluation.
Hold Work-Related Events In Accessible Locations
Work-related gatherings, whether professional or social events should be inclusionary for persons with disabilities. Therefore, organizers should schedule such gatherings at locations that provide the greatest degree of accessibility.
Brand The Organization Accordingly
Companies and organizations are more likely to attract a greater number of applicants with disabilities if such entities brand themselves as proponents of such individuals. The enthusiastic desire to hire persons with disabilities should be written into the entity in question’s diversity statement.