Most companies have gone remote post-pandemic, and onboarding has been a challenge for many. If you are onboarding employees with disabilities, then the challenge is magnified multiple fold.
One of the biggest things that the pandemic has taught us is having empathy and compassion for others. Nurturing a workplace environment where inclusivity and accessibility are prioritized is of utmost importance, now more than ever.
If you have been struggling with onboarding remote employees with disabilities and ensuring that they have a great onboarding experience, then this guide is just for you. Let’s look at some of the ways to have a smooth onboarding process for remote employees with disabilities.
1Educate Yourself and Others About Inclusion
Inclusion is a massive area to be explored by most people and organizations. Unless you or your employees have firsthand experiences with people with disabilities or have taken an interest in learning about it, you wouldn’t be aware of inclusion.
Our ignorance is appalling considering the fact that 1 in every 4 Americans is disabled in some way. It is important to understand the meaning of inclusion, what it means to be inclusive, and how you conduct yourself around people with disabilities, even while working remotely.
You can do this by hiring experts to create exclusive training on inclusion. This will help you create a more comfortable and welcoming environment for onboarding your remote employees with disabilities.
2Ensure your Company Website’s Accessibility
The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA was passed in 1990. This is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disabilities. Ensuring website accessibility is an important part of the ADA, and you might be facing potential lawsuits if you do not adhere to this law.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG are a set of web accessibility guidelines followed worldwide. Currently, your company’s website may not be entirely accessible for people with disabilities.
While onboarding disabled employees, it is essential to adhere to these web accessibility guidelines. This is essentially true when you are onboarding remote employees as their training, and day-to-day work would involve assessing your organization’s websites. While doing so, they shouldn’t face any difficulties accessing all the features.
You can use accessiBe’s web accessibility platform for this purpose. Such software will scan your website for all the ADA and WCAG violations, and fix all the accessibility issues with ease. You just have to install a single line of code, and the tool will take care of the rest.
3Provide Access to Assistive Technologies if Necessary
As you might already be aware, people with hearing impairments, motor impairments, or visual disabilities may need assistive devices to access things around the internet. They may need these devices to complete their day-to-day tasks.
Just like you would provide laptops or other equipment while onboarding your remote employees, you should also consider providing these assistive devices for your disabled employees. The training that you underwent for inclusion would come in handy here.
Today, there are lots of advanced technologies and mobile applications available that can be used as assistive devices for your remote disabled employees. Ensure that you invest in these and create an inclusive environment. This will help to have an immensely positive impact on the growth of your organization.
4Ask for Feedback from Disabled Employees
You may have created training on inclusions, provided assistive devices, and ensured accessibility of your website. But all these are not enough. You should also gather feedback from your disabled employees and understand whether they feel comfortable working in your organization.
You can do this by having one-on-one sessions with your disabled employees and talking to them about this. You should first make them feel comfortable to open up about anything that they would want to discuss, and then you can gather feedback about your onboarding, as well as your day-to-day workplace.
Once you have gathered all the feedback, the next step is to start acting on it. You should have such one-on-one meetings regularly with your disabled employees to ensure that they feel comfortable and open up about any issues they are facing in your remote workspace.
5Have a Checklist Specific for Remote Onboarding of Disabled Employees
Lastly, having a checklist specific for remote onboarding of employees with disabilities can be of immense help. You can set a checklist and SOPs to ensure that you welcome every disabled employee into your organization with the same process, and you don’t leave out anything important.
This will save you time and resources each time, and thus, help your organization function more efficiently, even while working remotely. This will also save you from expensive ADA lawsuits that might leave your company bankrupt and damage your reputation for a long time.
Remote onboarding of employees with disabilities can be tricky and challenging. You want to make them feel inclusive while ensuring that the onboarding process is effective.
The tips provided in this guide will help you have a smooth onboarding experience for remote, disabled employees. This will help you grow as an organization and improve your company’s reputation as well. So, start working on these tips right away, and you’ll see an immense difference soon.
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