As a business owner, one of the most appreciated things you can provide to your employees is a welcoming workplace. This could mean having an open concept with areas to relax while working, always having your door open for conversations and much more. But for a person with disabilities, a welcoming workplace may mean something different. They may appreciate a wheelchair ramp or a stair lift more than anything else, so those are things you should take into consideration when creating a welcoming environment. Here are some other ideas to help you create a great place to work, even if you have one or more people with a physical disability.
Install A Wheelchair Ramp Or Stair Lift
A wheelchair ramp installed at an entrance can make a huge difference for a person with disabilities. Even a step a few inches high can be challenging since lifting their feet that much could make them lose balance or be painful. A stair lift is also a great addition to your workspace if stairs are required to navigate the building throughout the day. These are quick and simple additions that don’t require major renovations, and anyone with a physical disability would appreciate them greatly.
Encourage Open Conversation
Many people with a physical disability have a hard time talking about their needs for various reasons. They may not want to be treated any differently than others or they simply don’t like asking for assistance. As a business owner, being approachable and helping employees feel comfortable talking to you is very valuable. If you have an employee with a physical disability, take a proactive step and encourage them to have an open conversation with you about what could make your workspace easier for them to navigate. By showing you care about them, they may appreciate the workspace even more and be more prideful in the work they do.
Be Proactive With Accessibility
Even if you have a conversation with a person with disabilities about their needs, they may not express everything that could make their life easier. You could take proactive steps and identify some of their actions and recognize what you need to do to help them. Installing a stair lift could be a simple and effective addition. And if you’re considering renovating your office space in the future, start thinking about how to make the space more accessible so you can take care of some of the upgrades at the same time. Don’t discuss the changes openly, as a person with disabilities may not want the attention. Just know in your heart and theirs that the changes you make are very much appreciated.
Next Day Access is here to help business owners create the most welcoming workspace possible. People with a physical disability often don’t speak up because they don’t want to seem like a burden. If you’re unsure about whether you have a welcoming and inclusive office space for everyone, contact us today and we would be happy to provide you with a free assessment.