“Trust your employees,” said Sharon Rosenblatt, director of communications at Accessibility Partners. “They know what works for their needs.”
To have a successfully diverse and inclusive workforce, it is imperative that you, your management team and your employees all have knowledge of disability and the culture around it.
“We’ve heard stories about workplaces speaking loudly to blind employees or wondering about wheelchair access for deaf employees,” said Rosenblatt, “so a basic understanding about disability in an empowering workplace in a great step.”
A place to start is providing training for your employees on how they can contribute to a more inclusive work environment. You can initially provide the training for your existing employees and adopt it as part of your employee onboarding process.
The training should include best practices like pushing in chairs after meetings for easy navigation, reserving front seats for deaf or hard-of-hearing employees during presentations and any other specific accommodations your individual employees may need, as well as basic etiquette like not leaning on a wheelchair or petting a service dog while it is working.