What Can Business Owners do to Help Disabled Employees Work from Home?

A number of factors influence candidature and employee performance, but diversity shouldn’t be one of them. In the new work-from-home era, what should businesses be doing to ensure that they accommodate all their employees’ needs?

The Coronavirus pandemic has triggered the temporary loss of office environments, beloved and relied on by most employees. This, in turn, has marked the loss of routine, socializing, and career progression for many people.

This was a difficult shift for the majority and took some adjusting. Although employers took appropriate action to ensure that employees could still work from the comfort of their home. But how about the minority of employees who are disabled and need extra workplace adjustments?

How can businesses accommodate Disabled Employees in the ‘new normal’?

Employees with chronic conditions

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees with long-term health implications don’t get left behind. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) states that leaders within the company should “promote and enforce diversity.”

Providing employee benefits such as paid sick leave and a great health insurance plan will not only ensure that employees falling into this category feel recognized and accommodated; it will also protect the company itself from liability.

Accommodating for the disabled also has the added benefit of increasing the business’s cultural diversity, encouraging candidates to disclose their disability from the beginning, reassured that it wouldn’t be a factor.

Deaf employees

Since the pandemic, the deaf community has been on the public’s mind, with the CDC advising everyone to wear a face mask to stop the spread. This radical change has made it difficult for the hard of hearing to lip-read, and, as a result, alienated them from social participation.

But it’s not just PPE that’s widening the gap, and it’s a business owner’s responsibility to try to close it!

Video conferencing software has made it possible to share a meeting or event from within the safety of the home. But for deaf employees (or candidates) what can you do to make sure you provide non-discriminatory working conditions?

The most cost-effective and accurate solution to accommodate these needs is to provide live captions of web interactions. This ensures that non-hearing participants can get a transcript that allows them to be fully involved in the discussion.

Providing Extra Training

When it comes to accommodating the needs of all employees, it can feel like there’s a lot of information to take on board for everyone.

However, if a business wants to increase its inclusivity, training courses are available. ‘Implicit Bias’ is the industry standard course for tackling diversity issues in the workplace. They often include culture, leadership, and inclusion modules.

When a business is inclusive, everybody wins. So, show employees that their needs have been recognized and will be accommodated. This gives workers a sense of security and acceptance, which often results in a stronger loyalty to the brand. When employees feel taken care of, you can rest assured they’ll take care of your business.

 

Further reading:
– Do disabled people make better entrepreneurs?
– Cerebral palsy support from CP Family network
– More about global web accessibility standards

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