The mission of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is to eliminate barriers
to work and independence. Together, we prepare people for work.

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Creating accessible workplaces

Creating accessible workplaces

Information for hiring managers regarding workplace accessibility

Creating accessible workplaces

Having an accessible workplace is not only the right thing to do, it is also required by the American Disabilities Act. The law states that you must do two things to accommodate persons with disabilities:

  1. Provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
  2. Provide equal opportunity for jobs and advancement.

The three essentials of workplace accessibility

  1. Your facilities: In many cases, buildings are already accessible due to changes in recent laws, so providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities does not cost anything or costs very little. Visit the Minnesota State Council on Disability site or the American Disabilities Act Web site for more information.  
  2. Accommodations: The Job Accommodations Network and the National Organization on Disability Web sites provide detailed information to help employers understand the nature of the laws surrounding accessibility, the ADA act and provides consulting when needed. Providing accommodations isn't necessarily expensive or cost-prohibitive. When employers must provide accommodations, the Job Accommodations Network reports that it costs less than $500 per person. Although this may cost money, there may be tax credits available to offset the cost.
  3. Your Web site: Is it accessible to persons with limited hand mobility, visual impairments or hearing impairments? Visit the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to get detailed guidelines for Bobby Approved sites.

10 accessibility questions to ask about your workplace

  1. Are all rooms, or at least essential rooms, clearly labeled with Braille and large letters?
  2. Are signs easily viewed by people with limited vision with sharp contrast and reasonably sized letters?
  3. Is every meeting room, hallway and door accessible for persons in wheelchairs of all sizes and shapes?
  4. If your building has stairs, and no elevators, can you provide an office or work location on the ground floor and if so, are there appropriate facilities on that floor?
  5. Is it possible for persons with limited mobility to navigate your office and cubicles, hallways and restrooms without tripping, falling or bumping into furniture and cubicle walls?
  6. Do you know how to accommodate the needs of employees with a visual or hearing impairment for computer and Internet access?
  7. If needed, are you prepared to provide tools for employees with limited hand mobility?
  8. Is your Web site fully accessible?
  9. Do you use people-first language when referring to persons with disabilities in print, conversation and on your Web site? 
  10. If needed are you willing to provide accommodations for persons with disabilities?


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