Accessible workspaces that allow diversity in all senses
Transitioning to flexible and hybrid work could lead to a monumental change for people with disabilities. In recent years, we have seen that accessibility is possible and more important than ever.
It is a reality that there is a disability employment gap, studies show that only 19.1% of people with disabilities of working age in the United States are employed, compared to 63.7% of people with disabilities.
Furthermore, only 55% of workers with disabilities feel they receive recognition from managers; less than 50% feel they have an opportunity to achieve at work, compared to about 60% of employees without disabilities, leading to real dissatisfaction.
A recent advantage for adults with disabilities has been remote and flexible work models, which have gone a long way to closing these gaps and making jobs more accessible.
Many companies are still not meeting the demand for accessible workspaces because they do not understand the experience of people with disabilities.
The most common disabilities in the workforce include:
- Physical disabilities or injuries (permanent or temporary).
- Vision/hearing problems.
- Neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or severe migraines.
- Mental/psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety disorder.
The main obstacles people with disabilities face in everyday working life are:
- Physical challenges (for example, traveling, entering, or exiting a building).
- Limited (or no) accessible parking spaces.
- Lack of adequate work equipment.
- Communication difficulties.
- Sensory sensitivities.
- Higher levels of exhaustion.
- Lack of privacy when disclosing a disability.
How to create accessible and convenient workspaces for more people?
Today more companies are taking steps to create a more agile workplace that can quickly and easily adapt to global changes. In innovative workplaces, accessibility shouldn't be an afterthought. More modern collaborative workspaces that go above and beyond by keeping well-being, accessibility, and beautiful designs in mind. An accessible workspace should provide a central creative hub for team meetings, with the technology to accommodate remote workers.