How to be an inclusive workplace

The perceived barriers to forming a disability inclusion strategy are many, but they needn’t be. Essentially, it’s what you would normally do while at the same time remembering that you want to give everyone a fair go, including people with disability.

Below are some simple steps to follow. If you have any to add, please get in contact. I am the first person to admit that creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace can be hard, but I think this is only because it's easier to fall back into old habits when you're busy. (And, of course, a vibrant, thriving business is always busy!)

Start by ensuring the hiring process is open to all candidates:

·      Provide the option to apply in person as well as online

·      Interview in accessible places

·      Speak and write in plain English during position descriptions, interviews and contracts.

Continue by understanding that inclusion is good for business, your botttom line, not just a way to be seen to be 'giving back' to the world. Seeing inclusive practice as an investment makes the short inconvenience around change easy to deal with.

Essentially, the best way to create and maintain a strong inclusive workplace is to contact a successful disability employment service (DES) provider experienced in, not just placing people with disability into work but also, implementing inclusive practices across various industries. Good DES providers understand and interpret relevant legislation, apply for funding on your behalf for taff training and/or physical changes to buildings and systems, and know about the many supports available for businesses choosing inclusion.

We're talking here beyond mere compliance to embracing diversity at work and the world at large. If you're up for the slight short-term inconvenience of making a change for the large gains of an inclusive workforce, contact me to draw on NOVA Employment’s almost thirty years’ experience facilitating disability inclusion.

- Martin Wren