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3 Tips for Making Employees with Disabilities Feel Welcome
June 10, 2019
Employment Specialist

There’s a stigma surrounding disability. Even though one in five people are likely to suffer from a disability, most don’t get the help they need. Employers can take action to help their disabled employees, and that can make a world of difference. Here are three tips for making your employees with disabilities feel welcome in the workplace.

Build Awareness

Being disabled in the workplace can feel more like teaching a class than working a job. All that teaching can be exhausting, especially if you’re already suffering from a disability that makes it difficult to focus. As a leader in the workplace, it’s your responsibility to educate yourself and your other employees on the needs of your disabled employee. Build awareness of the employee’s disability, train your other employees to accommodate them, and do it in a way that is respectful to the disabled employee in question.

Focus on Accessibility

To successfully integrate employees with disabilities into your company’s culture, you must also eliminate barriers to entry. This means making things like retreats, company socials, and wellness challenges more accessible to your employees. There are a number of wellness challenge ideas out there, so you don’t really have to change all that much. Just find one that everyone can participate in. Remember that you don’t need to change your company culture. Just focus on the small things that you can change to make that culture more accessible.

Be Accommodating

Being disabled makes a lot of things in life more difficult. The biggest step you can take as an employer is to recognize those difficulties and help your employees through them. This could mean any number of things, such as giving longer breaks, being flexible with work schedules, or providing access to resources for mental and physical wellness. Remember that disability comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be plainly visible or completely invisible. It’s important to take any requests made by your disabled employees seriously. Don’t gaslight or ignore them, just give them the help they need when they ask for it.

Disability can be a hard thing to even think about as an employer. For disabled employees, though, it’s not an option. Thankfully, by educating yourself and your employees, making your workplace accessible, and being accommodating to the needs of your disabled employees, you can make a world of difference in their work lives.

Want to help people with disabilities? Visit our shop, because every purchase made through ACCSES NJ has a purpose. We make sure you get the products and services you need, when you need them, at a competitive price, while also providing employment opportunities and making the American dream more accessible to people with disabilities.