Adapting to Disability and Dealing with Discrimination in the Workplace

As a wheelchair user, it is difficult to adjust to disability and even more challenging to deal with workplace discrimination. It’s not uncommon for people with disabilities to have difficulty finding jobs. If they do manage to get one, it’s hard enough adjusting without this added struggle of workplace discrimination. But what can be done to make the workplace a more equal place for those with disabilities? In this post, we look at how we can ensure inclusivity in the workplace.

How to Prevent Discrimination for People with Disability

Reasonable Adjustments

Under the equality act employers and organizations have to make reasonable adjustments. The duty to make reasonable adjustments refers to the responsibility of employers and organizations to ensure those with disabilities can access jobs, education, or services easily. Here are examples of reasonable adjustments:

  • Allocating the wheelchair user a parking space near the office
  • Adjustable desks for wheelchair users
  • Adjustable keyboards for those with problems on their wrist
  • Providing items such as a voice dictator

Reasonable adjustments that an organization can implement depend on the resources available to the organization.

Staff Training On How To Interact With Disabled People

To minimize chances of discrimination, it may be necessary to train staff on how to behave around a disabled person. They may not know some of the social cues, so they might need training for them to respond appropriately. For instance, don’t bend or crouch when a disabled person asks a question because that makes the wheelchair user feel looked down on or patronized. Training your staff on how to avoid making wheelchair users feel victimized is a key priority.

Right To Interview

The Equality Act dictates that employers cannot ask job applicants about their health or disability until they have given them the job. The employer can only ask a person with a disability about their health if it’s an absolute requirement for the position. If not, then there must be some other good reason why this question is being brought up in conversation early into your interview process.

The act is designed to bring equality to the hiring process. Wheelchair users know that they need to meet other job requirements to qualify for an interview. Therefore, they should not take the right to an interview as a free pass. As a wheelchair user, you must work smart and equally hard so your qualifications are recognized. This will ensure you are given fair consideration when the time comes for promotion or new hires.

It’s time to start being more inclusive of people with disabilities. We hope that by providing this information and these resources, you can help make the world a better place for them and show disabled people that they’re supported.