Many employers don’t realise their place of work can often present barriers for disabled customers and workers. In order to comply ith Australian regulations, your workplace should adhere to the standards set out by the Australian Government’s JobAccess website:
- Does your workplace have a disabled toilet available for customers or employees?
- Is there seating available, is there a designated area for disabled persons?
- Is the lighting bright enough to assist the vision-impaired?
- Are your staff trained in how to assist disabled customers?
- Is the path or area near your entrance accessible to people in wheelchairs?
- Has a lift or ramp been installed?
- Are their disabled parking spaces available near your place of business?
- Is the signage in your workplace clear and large enough for vision impaired customers and employees to read?
- Does the design of your workplace allow disabled customers to easily find assistance when needed?
A full list of checkpoints to follow is available here.
You can also request JobAccess to send an auditor to your workplace to make sure it adheres to the required standards.
The JobAccess website points out it makes good sense to consider hiring disabled employees, as disabled workers often have fewer accidents, have lower absenteeism and often take less sick leave.
However, it also points out there are many things to consider before hiring a disabled person – have you modified your workplace? Have you given disability assistance training to your staff? Are you aware of the financial help available to businesses hiring disabled workers?