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Disability in the workplace

by Justin Crick | Oct 11, 2012

Developing an Inclusive Culture

  • Disseminate a written disability policy (and where appropriate a Disability Equality Scheme) and clear procedures throughout the organisation.
  • Review office layouts and accessibility.
  • Review organisational policies and procedures to avoid direct or indirect discrimination.
  • Develop consultation initiatives to increase feedback from disabled staff regarding policies and new developments.
  • Ensure opportunities for individuals to request support for disabilities, including at job-application and interview stages.
  • Make information more accessible by publishing it in alternative formats, for example, audio files, or large print.
  • Consider the opportunities to work with specialist disability advisors and suppliers, in addition to identifying funding sources, such as the Access-to-Work grant scheme from Job Centre Plus.
  • Incorporate disability-friendly IT adjustments; for example, consider the opportunities to provide software and assistive technology tools.

Disability-Awareness Training

  • Provide disability awareness training for all staff.
  • Integrate disability awareness into staff-induction programmes.
  • Consider training mentors or buddies for disabled staff.
  • Provide one-to-one skills training and coaching initiatives from a dyslexia specialist.

Develop New Communication Strategies

  • Review all communication information, both internal and external, from signage to documents to multi-media. Consider both printed publications and information featured in electronic media.
  • Use a variety of ways to present information, including video, charts, diagrams, and images as well as words on labels and signage.
  • Enable staff to have a choice of coloured backgrounds and fonts on computer screens and coloured overlays for published material.
  • Adopt a clear house style for all written materials.

Consider how the use of assistive technology and software can support reading digital information, e.g. text-to-speech software that reads information 'out loud' from websites, intranets and documents.