How Do You Create an Accessible Workplace?
The OFCCP has created strict mandates making it imperative for employers to make job search and the subsequent employment environment accessible to candidates with disabilities. To create an accessible workplace, there are certain things to consider during the recruitment and on-boarding process - and beyond. Most are simple adjustments you can make today. Consider the following:
The recruitment process
Be sure to indicate your equal opportunity policy on all job postings. Seek out recruitment sources, like job boards that focus on diversity groups, such as those with disabilities. Be clear about the skills and requirements for each job listing, while making the selection process available to all individuals with appropriate skills. Train recruitment staff on the appropriate questions they can ask candidates with disabilities during the interview process. For instance, questions need to focus on the candidate's abilities to do the job and not on their health. Make sure managers and supervisors are aware of accessibility issues including making the website accessible to all especially to ensure a smooth application experience for candidates with disabilities.
There may be instances where changes need to be made to tests, training materials, or policies. Identify needs on a regular basis to be sure that all employees are accommodated in all areas. Continue to track the progress of employees to determine if you are achieving your accessibility goals, among others. You can accomplish this via surveys, quarterly reviews or any other assessment programs you currently have in place. Respect employees' confidentiality and be sure to reinforce that you will not disclose or discuss information about their disability unless it is to determine any on-the-job accommodations they may require. Be sure you have the information needed to help you and your staff understand any disability issues that are impacting your workplace.
Make Reasonable Accommodations Available
A reasonable accommodation can take many forms from access to specific technologies or equipment to scheduling considerations. For example, use of special equipment, such as a large computer monitor or chair or other workplace adaptive technology or equipment or an interpreter or other form of personal assistance. Job duties may need to be modified and facilities may need to be made more accessible or involve acquiring or modifying equipment.
The bottom line is for all employees to feel valued and nurtured so they can be motivated to do their best which is ultimately good for the company as well.