How to Improve Accessibility in the Workplace

  • The above picture shows a woman sitting in her wheelchair at a work desk shaking the hand of a man.

Making workplaces accessible for employees with limited mobilities is not just a legal duty but a moral imperative. The World Health Organization claims that over a billion individuals worldwide live with a form of disability. In the case of prioritizing accessibility, organizations can tap into a rich pool of talent, foster an inclusive culture, and enhance productivity for all employees. And here are 10 practical ways to create a truly accessible workplace.

Make Up a Disability Action Plan

A comprehensive disability action plan can ensure a systematic approach to creating an inclusive workplace. A well-crafted action plan serves as a roadmap. It outlines specific goals, strategies, and timelines for improving accessibility across all aspects of the organization.

Establishing a diverse committee is the very first step in developing an effective disability action plan. This group should include representatives from various departments to ensure a holistic understanding of the organization's needs. External experts should be engaged too. These are disability advocates or accessibility consultants who can provide valuable recommendations from their perspective.

Regular monitoring, evaluation, and updating of the disability action plan will ensure its effectiveness. Measurable goals and key performance indicators should be established to help track progress and identify areas for improvement. Seeking feedback from workers with disabilities and incorporating their perspectives can further strengthen the plan's impact.

Physical Accessibility: Remove Barriers

A physically accessible workplace is the foundation of an inclusive environment. There should be flawless barrier-free entry and movement within the office. This may involve installing ramps, automatic doors, and elevators to accommodate employees with mobility challenges. Accessible restrooms and amenities are a necessity for employees' dignity and comfort. They must be completed with grab bars, wider stalls, and adjustable sinks. For a multiple-storeyed building, there should be a wheelchair-friendly elevator installed as an accessible alternative to regular stairs. All workers must be trained on how to get a wheelchair upstairs and downstairs in case outside help is needed.

Ergonomic workstations and adjustable furniture can boost the workplace experience for people with limited mobility. These are standing desks, specialized chairs, and adjustable keyboard trays. Such add-ons can alleviate strain and promote better posture. Offices should come with clear signage and wayfinding systems that are great helpers for employees with visual or cognitive impairments.

Do not forget about accommodating service animals that accompany humans throughout the day. All employees should be educated about the rights and responsibilities of service animal handlers. This will create a welcoming environment for those who rely on these valuable companions.

Embrace Digital Accessibility

In the digital age, all websites, online resources, and software must be accessible to employees with disabilities. Websites should be designed with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This means incorporating features like alt-text for images, proper heading structures, and keyboard navigation.

Assistive technology, such as screen readers, speech-to-text software, and specialized input devices, can empower workers with disabilities to perform their jobs more efficiently. Employees should be well-trained in using these tools to ensure seamless integration into the workplace.

All working multimedia content (including videos and webinars) should have captions and transcriptions so people who are deaf or hard of hearing can get the most out of it. For those who are working remotely, using accessible virtual meeting platforms and collaboration tools can foster inclusivity in a hybrid work environment.

Foster an Inclusive Culture

Apart from physical and digital accessibility, an inclusive organizational culture is equally important. Disability awareness and sensitivity training can educate workers about different types of disabilities, appropriate language, and etiquette. These improvements will promote a respectful and welcoming environment.

Employees with disabilities should be empowered to share their experiences. This can greatly affect creating a non-shaming workspace. The experience can be spread through events, employee resource groups, and awareness campaigns. Such team-ups will reinforce the organization's commitment to inclusivity.


Creating an accessible workplace is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey. By implementing these ten strategies, employers can unlock the potential of a diverse workforce, enhance employee engagement, and foster a culture of inclusion. From physical accommodations to digital accessibility and cultural sensitivity, each step contributes to a more equitable environment for all.