5 Ways to Keep Your Office Accessible
The importance of an accessible office is undeniably one of the biggest considerations that any business needs to think about, whether they’re a small startup company or a large corporation. Integrating a demographic with disabilities into the workplace, whether as employees or as visitors, is important, and providing a barrier-free environment can help to ensure the safety, independence and convenience of all people with disabilities. Here, we’re taking a look at how you can keep your office accessible.
The first place to start with office accessibility is the car park. This is often an overlooked aspect as many businesses consider the interior of the office as the main focal point, however, providing enough space for disabled vehicles to load and unload their passengers is vital. Having designated spaces in the car park suitable for larger vehicles and ensuring that other vehicles are not parking too closely to these spaces can help to ensure that your office remains accessible to all. Businesses with larger budgets may also consider putting a walkway system in place designed to offer safety and security to those with disabilities, as opposed to having to navigate through a car park where vehicles can pose a threat to their safety.
Level Access at Front Entrance
In order for those with reduced mobility, or other disabilities such as blindness, to enter and leave the building in a safe and convenient manner, it is important to have level access at the front entrance. Alternatively, if there are steps up to the front entrance, having a separate entrance for disabilities installed can help to ensure that all visitors and employees are able to enter without trouble. Some businesses opt for automatic doors, or those with access for people with disabilities, in order to cater to all visitors.
A common sight in office spaces in more recent times is adjustable desks. These can be altered for use by an individual with a disability or individual without a disability where relevant. Alternatively, scattering desk sizes throughout the office can ensure that any employees with disabilities are also actively included in the workplace. Some businesses believe that a few lowered desks at one end of the office count as an accessible workplace, but this only serves to promote stigmatism and exclusivity.
Communal areas such as the kitchen, toilets and break areas can act as a barrier to employees with disabilities if proper planning is not in place. For example, a kitchen within an office is often designed to take up as little space as possible, but this can cause numerous issues for an employee with a disability. Ensuring that you have planned for this occurrence, and implemented appropriate measures, can help to guarantee that your office space is accessible to all.
Provide Extra Aids & Supports
Some employees may require particular equipment, assistance or aids, which will allow them to carry out work to the best of their abilities. The Equality Act states that this acts as reasonable adjustments at work which will allow employers to ensure that their employees are able to work efficiently. This special equipment, extra training or even the supervision from another member of staff, or support worker, can help to ensure that your office is completely accessible for all workers, at all times.