When we’re looking for people to join the workforce, our attention is usually on the people who are perfectly able. We often look at those who can move around and think in the same capacity as everyone else. But you might be ignoring a mostly untapped potential workforce: those who are differently able. You might even find that you’re in a business where you can actually accommodate them, given the right adjustments to your workplace and social structure. Here’s to give them a fair chance in your business:
Adjust the Workplace
One of the main concerns that businesses should think about when working to accommodate the disabled is how to adjust the physical workplace. Sure, they might have custom lightweight wheelchairs, but that doesn’t do much if they don’t have, say, ramps to go up on or elevators for their use. For example, those who have difficulty seeing can be given more audio-based or touch-friendly instructions, tools, and equipment. For those that have difficulty moving around, you can put added support, such as railings.
Reconsider Your Principles and Policies
Every business has a set of principles that guide its policies. Accommodating the differently able doesn’t just stop at the physical aspect of the company. The enterprise also has to reconsider which policies of theirs actually support them and which ones can put them at a disadvantage. You also have to think about whether you should create new ones or not so that you can adjust accordingly. Changing rules as needed and letting everyone know that you accommodate the disabled in this way can become good marketing for your company.
Train Your People
Not everyone encounters the differently able in the workplace, so it’s understandable if you or some of your people are having a hard time adjusting. What you can do to help is to set up training sessions for dealing with the disabled and how to encourage them to become part of the team. Of course, you can’t expect that it will work overnight, but at least they can become more aware of their co-workers who have needs that are different from theirs. Potential issues that they might encounter can already be addressed.
Practice Equal Compensation
Even the differently able are people who need money to support themselves and their families. If you think about it, they might even need more when you put any special equipment, medicines, and therapy into account. Helping them might mean giving them a competitive salary. Not only will you be able to give them the means to live, but you will also encourage them to stick with you, and that will bring you even more business.
In the end, everyone is struggling to work these days, and the disabled face an even greater challenge now. You can help both your business and your community by opening your doors to these wonderful people. They seem to be lacking in one way or another for most people, but they can certainly add to the workforce.