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MANAGING THE OFFICE

5 steps to creating a more inclusive workplace for employees with disabilities

Did you know that more than 70 percent of people with disabilities in the United States are unemployed? For a community that represents 20 percent of the entire American population, people with disabilities are far underrepresented in the workplace.

According to the Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, these statistics are a reflection of one of the biggest problems society faces.

However, inclusion is something everyone can contribute to, and the Foundation has provided five simple steps that any business, including your medical practice, can implement to increase inclusion:

  1. Use technology. People with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to do their jobs. Technology offers reasonably priced accommodations for a number of disabilities, such as speech-to-text software for a visually impaired employee or captioning screens for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  1. Partner with a job-training agency. Find the non-profit agencies in your community that are providing job coaching and training for people with disabilities and partner with them to bring the supports that employees may need for the job.
  1. Promote disability awareness through your company. Inclusion happens when everyone in your company understands the value of hiring a diverse workforce. Include regular training that focuses on disability awareness and inclusion.
  1. Create an accessible environment. Make sure that your office or facility includes restrooms, hallways, and storage space that are accessible for people of all heights and mobility.
  1. Ensure online accessibility: Inclusion extends to your online presence. You can make your website more accessible with simple steps like using alt tags that translate visual images and captioning on videos.

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