Even as things have significantly improved since various laws have been passed, many individuals with impairments still have a difficult time getting a job. When people start new careers, they could run into a work atmosphere that isn't suited to their wants and needs.

To create an accessible workplace of the future, technology can be crucial. Fast advancements in assistive technology and upcoming technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and augmented reality can help persons with disabilities participate in the workforce by fostering an environment that is accessible and inclusive with various disability employment services.

Employees with impairments who use these technologies to their full potential can prosper, achieve, and keep their jobs over the long run. But are solutions based on cutting-edge technology accessible to everyone? Are people with impairments able to use or own these technologies in the workplace?

As a person who supports organizations with disability inclusion, I think more businesses should take the initiative to improve access to workplaces and restructure more positions to better accommodate the talents of those with disabilities. New technology does not always provide the solutions needed for persons with disabilities to find employment; instead, businesses must create plans to encourage an inclusive workplace environment for all employees.

There are various obstacles, including prejudice and a lack of social acceptance, trouble getting around, and creating a welcoming and accessible working environment.

Employing persons with disabilities is only one aspect of creating an inclusive workplace. It's about creating a setting where people with disabilities may flourish over the long term through the development of long-term strategies, structures, and support.

Here are five steps your business may take to create a welcoming environment. You can incorporate the measures below into your disability employment services, or you can determine whether the company you are applying to has these facilities.

Step 1: Introduce corporate training

Successful businesses with disability inclusion programs employ a consultant to create and carry out a training strategy. Every level of the business is involved, including:

  • Leadership: Obtaining support from corporate management is essential for a disability inclusion effort. Making sure that you address both the stigma and fear that surrounds persons with disabilities as well as the business case for disability inclusion is important.
  • Supervisors: Supervisors can be concerned that the new hires are unqualified, can't keep up, or will get hurt. Your endeavour to include people with disabilities may not succeed if you don't face your fear. Supervisors need permission to express their concerns as well as specific advice and techniques for managing people with impairments. Supervisors and trainers might then confer about how to handle them.
  • Coworkers: Although it should not be as extensive, team members should also undergo training on disability inclusion and awareness. Coworkers may feel more at ease and willing to participate if you explain what to expect and address any questions they may have.

Step 2: Create a sourcing and retention plan

Partnering with a hiring firm that helps people with impairments is a typical tactic. This is a fantastic first step, but if employers want their programs to be successful, they must be more systematic.

Finding appropriate individuals has become increasingly difficult as more businesses want to hire persons with impairments. If employers want a stream of candidates, they must be innovative. Consider techniques like: 
  • Contacting state organizations, such as offices of vocational rehabilitation
  • Getting in touch with the career service office and the disability resource centre at nearby universities, community institutions, and vocational schools
  • Placing advertisements in local churches and nonprofits.

Step 3: Assist workers with disabilities

Companies must consider ways to accommodate employees with disabilities on the job. Employing career mentors from nearby disability organizations is the conventional solution. Building natural support by collaborating with managers and coworkers on long-term support plans for persons with impairments is a sustainable solution. Accommodations, assistive technology, and various types of job assistance are all examples of support.

Step 4: Internally discuss your disability inclusion plan

Make sure you're communicating with your internal team about the initiative for disability inclusion. Building passion and support among staff at all levels helps create an inclusive workplace.

One way to spread the information is through presentations from the leadership, internal newsletters, social media, the company intranet, and email. Moreover, messaging should link the inclusion plan's specifics to the organization's overall objectives.

Step 5: Measure your return on investment in step five

Both staff time and financial resources are needed to create an inclusive workplace. Even if it could be the correct thing to do, if it doesn't bring in money, it won't last. It might be challenging to quantify intangibles like improved morale or a culture shift. However, you can assess elements like:

  • Lower hiring expenses: It might be pricey to post job openings on conventional hiring websites. Yet, neighbourhood disability organizations will freely publish your job openings. That lowers the cost of hiring.
  • Better retention: People with impairments tend to stay on the job longer, according to several businesses. Employee turnover is half as high for individuals with disabilities as it is for those without.
  • Reduced absences: Employees with disabilities use fewer sick days than their coworkers. The survey also discovered that disabled retail employees missed fewer scheduled absences than their non-disabled counterparts.