There are more than 56 million Americans with disabilities. That’s almost one-fifth of the entire U.S. population! With that many people taking part in the workforce, it is important for businesses to have an ADA complaint work environment and website. Businesses use web tools like accessiBe to ensure their website works for all users.
The ADA was passed to protect people from discrimination based on their disabilities, and there have been many changes made since then to ensure that businesses are accessible to everyone. With that said, if your business is thinking about creating a workplace policy or making any accommodations for employees, here are nine ways to ensure your business has an ADA friendly workplace:
- Ask Employees To Report Accommodations – This may seem pretty obvious, but it is important to ask employees to report accommodations that are needed. Some disabilities may be hidden, or people might not want to disclose their disability for fear of accommodations not being made. The point is, if you put out a formal request for accommodations, employees will be more likely to come forward with the accommodations they need.
- Don’t Assume Any Disabilities – You can never assume anything regarding disabilities. Just because someone doesn’t have a physical disability, don’t assume they don’t have a mental one.
- Create A List Of Physical And Accessible Locations – It is important to have a list of physical locations that are accessible to employees with disabilities. Make sure you include things like parking, entrances, bathrooms, and any other place that has the potential to cause difficulties for employees.
- Provide Assistive Technology – No one should be denied access to technology. You can’t expect somebody with a visual impairment to use your website if the font is too small and they need magnification to see it. If you provide company technology and equipment, make sure you provide assistive technology as well.
- Create A Guide For Employees To Use As A Reference – Having a guide to reference is important because not everyone knows how to read or understand legal documents. If you create an easy to read version for employees to reference, they will be able to see what needs to be done.
- Let Employees Know How To Report Discrimination – If an employee feels that they are being discriminated against, let them know how to report it and to whom they should report it to. You may also want to let employees know that you will protect any information shared with you and that you will take any complaints seriously.
- Remove Employment Barriers – Don’t ask questions on an application that can be used to discriminate if applicants have disabilities. Also, if you have building access issues, use technology to assist in access.
- Don’t Use A “No Accommodation” Policy – If a request for an accommodation is denied, always document the reason why. And never use a “no accommodation” policy because it can come back to haunt you.
- Speak With An Attorney – If you are looking for additional guidance on ADA compliance, speak with an attorney specializing in employment law or contact the Department of Justice.