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Creating an Accessible and Welcoming Workplace

Learn more about all of the elements of accessibility in the workplace.

A disability-inclusive workplace is an accessible workplace. This means not only physical accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps, braille signage, and accessible restrooms, but also digital accessibility, meaning information and communication technology is accessible to all and compatible with assistive technology devices.

Creating a fully accessible workplace also means making a commitment from all levels of an organization, from top leadership down, to ensure your organization’s doors are open—literally and figuratively—to all qualified candidates, including people with disabilities. But it's not only disabled workers who benefit from accessible workplaces. They can also help organizations increase productivity, ensure access to a wider candidate pool, develop and advance talent, and expand their customer base.

The following links provide more information about the various aspects of accessibility:

Physical Accessibility ensures equal access in the workplace. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is an employer’s obligation to “provide access for an individual applicant to participate in the job application process, and for an individual employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his/her job, including access to a building, to the work site, to needed equipment, and to all facilities used by employees.” This page details building and work site accessibility as well as other areas in which accessibility must be provided.

Technological Accessibility is an important component of disability inclusion. Inaccessible technology can limit opportunities for people with disabilities to get hired, or to excel in a position when they are unable to perform their job duties because they cannot access basic workplace tools. Learn how employers can address technology accessibility.

Attitudinal Awareness: Negative attitudes and stereotypes about disability can hinder inclusion for all. Often, the biggest barrier to workplace accessibility is not architectural in nature, but rather attitudinal.  Employees may have misconceptions about people with disabilities and the work they can do. Learn about possible attitudinal barriers and help break down attitudinal barriers in the workplace by engaging employees in discussions about disability and providing training to increase employees’ perspectives and understanding.

Organization-Wide Accessibility: Everyone Plays a Part 

Your organization can develop an “Accessibility is Everyone’s Responsibility” mindset! It’s all about teamwork—everyone’s involvement matters.

  • Employees: Help ensure the content produced, the systems maintained, and the meetings organized are accessible.
  • Leadership: Establish workplace expectations and policies around accessibility and promote a culture of inclusion. 
  • Human Resources Professionals: Lead efforts by ensuring accessibility is integral to the recruitment and hiring process. 
  • Supervisors: Address day-to-day accessibility needs by ensuring individuals can request and receive reasonable accommodations.  
  • Procurement Officers: Build in accessibility as part of the procurement process. 
  • Information Technology, Web Development, and Design Staff: Ensure all workplace technologies are universally accessible and assistive technologies operate with current workplace technologies. 
  • Marketing and Public Relations Specialists: Deliver proper communication on accessibility to internal and external audiences in an accessible format. 
  • Legal Counsel and Regulatory Team Members: Ensure understanding of and compliance with accessibility responsibilities.  

Find additional resources on accessibility.