Inclusive is a word that gets thrown out a lot in the corporate world but what does inclusive mean? Inclusive means that your business is open to customers and staff with various abilities. Various abilities can include physical limitations, intellectual disabilities, autism or mental illness.
Being inclusive not only has altruistic ideals but can also be good for the bottom line. In the United States, it is estimated that 26% of adults have some type of disability. This can be a significant portion of your revenue stream. For many there is also an individual in their family or friendship group with a significant disability.
In the United States, businesses are required to have a percentage of individuals with disabilities in order to obtain contracts. Limiting your workforce also limits your ability to obtain these important revenue streams.
Individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities can thrive on a routine. This can be an added bonus to business. They have staff that show up every day and on time. The turnover would be lessened. Sometimes the initial training can take longer, but when that same person is there for years versus months the financial impact is huge.
Being inclusive does not always have to be expensive. It can be done as a part of the build out process. Limiting trip hazards is important to individuals with mobility challenges but can also decrease liability claims. Proper lighting is also important. Having menus and price lists in various formats can be important.
The ADA provides tips on how to make your website compliant. There information sheet can be found at https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm.
Providing your staff a check list to work with versus verbal instructions is also beneficial. Allowing an individual to use a headset when their job does not require communication can be important to some individuals with autism. You can also break down jobs into clear steps which can be important. At times you may need to customize duties to make that person be successful.
For some businesses, their ability to inclusive is limited by their application process. Limiting applications to online, phone interviews and assessments unrelated to the required job skills can cause many individuals with disabilities to be excluded from your hiring process.
All of these simple techniques can be used to make your business a leader in your community for inclusive practices.
While the concept of inclusion can seem daunting, it can be easily achieved with an open mind and proper supports. If you would like to learn more about ways your business can be inclusive, please contact Bloom at 816-769-7438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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