How Are Businesses Adapting for Disabled Workers

There are currently an estimated 10 million people in the UK who are registered as disabled. While at one time there was very little help, support and understanding of disabilities, we’ve thankfully come a long way since then. Now, those with disabilities have exactly the same rights as anyone else, including a right to work.

Businesses are now required to ensure they have made reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities. So, what does this mean and how are businesses adapting for disabled workers?

What reasonable adjustments are businesses expected to make?

As the laws and regulations have changed, employers are now expected to make what the government deems as “reasonable adjustments”. These reasonable adjustments include:

  • Allowing disabled workers to do things a different way
  • Providing specialised equipment such as a special keyboard for those suffering from arthritis
  • Making physical changes to the work environment
  • Adjusting the recruitment process
  • Ensuring disabled workers have the same recreation, refreshment and training opportunities as everyone else

Basically, businesses are expected to accommodate any changes a disabled worker may need providing they aren’t unreasonable.

How can your business adapt?

To adapt your business to suit disabled workers, you need to consider the types of disabilities and barriers disabled workers may face.

One of the most common adaptations businesses make is ensuring the workplace is suitable for wheelchair users. This includes providing a ramp, as well as stairs, to get to specific areas throughout the workplace and even into the building itself. Another thing you may wish to provide is a disability vehicle. If your staff benefit from a company car, you’re going to need to ensure disabled workers are offered a suitable vehicle to fit their needs. You can buy modified disability vehicles through Allied Mobility, and other similar companies.

It’s worth looking at your current training and employment process too. Does it accommodate those with disabilities? Do you provide additional help and aids to help disabled workers carry out their jobs?

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the reasonable adjustments act applies to those suffering from mental disorders too such as depression and social anxiety. If a worker has social anxiety for example, you’re expected to make reasonable adjustments such as providing them with their own desk instead of a hot desk environment. Being aware of this will help you to ensure you’re catering to all disabilities.

Overall, businesses have started to take the rights of their disabled workers a lot more seriously since the change in regulations. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are professionals you can reach out to who can help you to ensure your workplace is disability friendly so it could be worth looking into that if you’re struggling to know where to start.