Updated: Oct 30
Compliance with disability inclusion standards is undoubtedly a critical step towards creating an accessible workplace. However, true progress lies in going above and beyond the legal requirements.
By embracing innovative practices and policies, companies can create an environment where employees of all abilities thrive. The benefits of exceeding compliance expectations are great and lead to a workplace culture of innovation, collaboration, and inclusion.
The Power of Exceeding Compliance
While compliance ensures a baseline level of accessibility, it often falls short of creating a truly inclusive workplace. Going beyond compliance demonstrates a genuine commitment to diversity, creating an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and able to contribute their best.
Creating a Culture of Inclusivity Companies that prioritize disability inclusion beyond mere compliance foster a culture of inclusivity. This means not only meeting legal requirements but actively seeking out ways to make the workplace more accessible and welcoming for everyone.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent Going above and beyond for disability inclusion sends a powerful message to potential and current employees. It demonstrates that the company values diversity and is dedicated to providing an inclusive environment, making it an attractive workplace for a wide range of talent.
Enhancing Innovation and Problem-Solving Diverse perspectives lead to more innovative solutions. By including individuals with disabilities in all aspects of the company, from product design to marketing strategies, companies can tap into a wealth of creativity and problem-solving ability.
Innovative Practices in Disability Inclusion
Flexible Work Arrangements Companies can offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, to accommodate the diverse needs of employees with disabilities. This not only enhances work-life balance but also allows individuals to work in an environment that best suits their needs.
Universal Design Principles Applying universal design principles to physical spaces and digital platforms ensures that they are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. This includes features like ramp access, Braille signage, and screen reader compatibility.
Mental Health Support Programs Recognizing that disabilities also include mental health conditions, companies can implement programs that support employees' mental well-being. This can include access to counseling services, mental health days, and stress-reducing initiatives.
Collaboration with Disability Service Providers Partnering with disability service providers can provide valuable insights and resources for creating a more inclusive workplace. These organizations can offer training, consultation, and connections to a network of disabled professionals.
Inclusive Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) Establishing ERGs dedicated to disability inclusion allows employees to come together, share experiences, and advocate for positive changes within the company. These groups can be a powerful force for driving inclusivity.
Pioneering Change for a More Inclusive Future
Going above and beyond compliance in disability inclusion is not just a legal obligation; it's a moral imperative and a strategic advantage. Companies that embrace innovative practices and policies in this area create a more inclusive, diverse, and ultimately successful work environment. By doing so, we pave the way for a future where all employees are empowered to reach their full potential, regardless of ability.
Alongside Open Door Group and Presidents Group, CAN WiN recently celebrated the 10th Anniversary Untapped Workforce Inclusion awards on October 13th, 2023. From large businesses to non-profit organizations, from managers to frontline staff, we had the privilege of honouring those who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fostering accessible, inclusive, and diverse workplaces. Their commitment serves as an inspiration to others and helps cultivate an environment where everyone feels valued and empowered.
Need some inspiration? Check out this year's top finalists and recipients of 10th annual Untapped Workplace Inclusion Awards. Together, let's pioneer inclusion and build a workplace that truly celebrates diversity.
Need a Hand Going Above and Beyond Compliance? We Can Help.
CAN WiN offers FREE accessible recruitment, retention, training, and consulting services for employers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. We recruit for many different career opportunities, from entry to senior-level positions, on behalf of employers who are committed to workforce inclusion of people with disabilities.
Looking for more detailed information on workplace adjustments?
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues. Serving customers across the United States and around the world for more than 35 years, JAN provides free practical guidance and technical assistance on job accommodation solutions, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.
Do you want to be a more inclusive and accessible employer?
Take this 15-minute Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment to gain a deeper understanding of where you’re doing well and where there’s room to improve.
Open Door Group and Presidents Group collaborated on this tool, created from recent international research on practices that truly increase inclusion and retention of people with disabilities in the workplace.