Lauren Dixon, journalist at Talent Econ, stated that since 1990, individuals with disabilities act has prohibited discrimination against the disabled in public spaces, including at work. This means that people with disability should be given equal employment opportunity as the others. However, statistics say otherwise as disabled working-age group face jobless rates are much higher than able-bodied individuals. Bureau of Labour Statistics data showed that 10.5 percent unemployment rate for those with disabilities and 4.6 percent for those without disabilities. Moreover, many companies are still complaining on how to support disabled employees in their workforce. As shown in Bandon Gaille statistic, disabled people receive more discrimination than able-bodied employees with 1.7 times more likely to be a victim of violence.
Amidst today’s competitive talent market and widening talent shortage, employers are struggling to find best talents for available positions. To address this matter, many companies are turning to selectively recruit individuals including disabled people to fill the roles. Japanese companies, for example, are interested in hiring individuals with disabilities. A report shows rising trends of corporates conducting interview sessions for disabled candidates.
More companies realise the advantages of embracing diversity in the workplace, including hiring people with disabilities. Business Australia commented that people with disability can bring range of skills, qualifications, talents, and experiences to business. With policy and regulations to support disabled employees, it is easier for company to hire and support those with disabilities. Hence, if you are thinking to hire someone with disability, you should be ready to ensure their accessibility at work, including creating a friendly atmosphere. Therefore, it is good to chat with your employees first.
Additionally, you might want to consider changes in your workplace including:
– modifying physical environment such as special equipment,
– accessible car parking,
– accessible sanitary facilities such as bathrooms and toilets,
– accessible room requirements in accommodation buildings,
– making work agreements more flexible,
– training your staff to ensure they feel comfortable with communicating and working with people with disability.
Furthermore, to help your employees better adjust themselves in workplace, you can provide “reasonable adjustment”. Reasonable adjustment is aimed to accommodate the needs of your employees and to give them equal employment opportunities such as recruitment processes, promotion, and training opportunities as well as terms and conditions of employment.