How can employers be more welcoming of people with disabilities?
This article was published first in The Hindu.
People with disabilities are not different from others in the workplace. They need the same things — to use the lift, talk to colleagues and business contacts, work on documents, be part of team training, apply for leave online, read the employee newsletter, even sip a beverage or enjoy a meal in the canteen — but may need the workplace to give them that access in different ways.
Inclusion happens at multiple levels: societal, organisational, in teams, and on a one-to-one basis. A truly inclusive workplace provides solutions to enable people with disabilities to seamlessly interact with their environment and colleagues. As more such people join the workforce, we must understand their needs and see how we can create an enabling environment.
It’s time to look at it holistically rather than from a single lens. Let us start with the physical environment.