What can companies do to support employees with disabilities?
There are a variety of strategies that companies can use to support employees with disabilities. Taking such actions may help to ensure that employees with disabilities have the same opportunities for advancement and professional development as all employees. Some of these strategies may be similar to strategies used to support other underrepresented groups, such as women and racial/ethnic minorities. To support employees with disabilities companies can:
- Explicitly state that professional development opportunities are welcoming of all employees, including those with disabilities.
- Have a central fund for accommodations in order to ensure that any expenses associated with hiring an individual with a disability do not come from departmental budgets. This means teams do not feel penalized when they hire an individual with a disability.
- Ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to mentors. This could take the formal of a formal mentoring program or encouraging managers to develop strong relationships with employees with disabilities.
- Make sure all internal products are made accessible so employees can access information about opportunities and resources.
- Train employees and managers on unconscious bias and create a culture around supporting one other.
For more information you may also be interested in reading What strategies are companies using to recruit employees with autism spectrum disorder? And Why should a company hire a person with a disability?