Disability in the Workplace: What to Expect From Your Employer

Disabled individuals interested in joining the workforce should have certain expectations of their employers. Depending on your disability, your employer will need to provide appropriate amenities. Before starting a new job, don’t be afraid to tell your boss exactly what you’ll need to be comfortably accommodated in your new workplace.

Businesswoman on a wheelchair

Disability Insurance

Before agreeing to work for a certain business, make sure they offer comprehensive disability insurance. This type of insurance is important for nondisabled hires but it is of particular import to disabled employees who are more prone to workplace-related illness and injury. Disability insurance ensures employees who are unable to work as a result of on-the-job ailments are given a monthly cash payment. This way, an inability to go into the office won’t spell financial ruin for struggling disabled workers.

If you feel you’re at extra-high risk for workplace-related injury, talk to your boss about an individual disability coverage plan. Many companies provide employees with group benefits plans, but the payouts these types of plans offer aren’t always enough for workers whose disabilities require a high cost of living. If your new employer refuses to offer a plan that suits your unique handicap, call a reputable disability insurance law firm.

Stair Lifts

If the workplace doesn’t have elevators, disabled workers who are unable to walk or have trouble getting around should request stair lifts. These convenient devices provide disabled workers with comfy chairs that travel up and down flights of stairs via easy-to-install rails. Stair lifts can be conveniently activated with the simple push of a button and feature a variety of travel speeds. Stair lifts also come in both straight and curved varieties in order to accommodate staircases of all shapes.

Wheelchair-bound workers looking for an easy way to go up and down flights of stairs without leaving their chairs are sure to appreciate the convenience offered by wheelchair platform stair lifts. As the name suggests, this type of stair lift features a large platform in place of a chair. These platforms are built to accommodate even the bulkiest of wheelchairs, ensuring you and your wheelchair are able to ascend and descend flights of stairs in a timely manner.

Businessman on a wheelchair

Wheelchair Ramps

If you work in a single-level office building or one with only a few small staircases, talk to your boss about installing wheelchair ramps. These convenient ramps are easy to install alongside any small staircase and serve as cost-effective alternatives to elevators and stair lifts. With a few wheel-turns, you’ll be able to ascend your workplace steps with minimal effort.

Before having a new wheelchair ramp put in, make sure the installers take careful measurements of your chair in order to determine the ramp’s width, slope and length. Disabled individuals who work in government offices, retail establishments and movie theaters will be pleased to learn the Americans With Disabilities Act mandates wheelchair ramps be made available in all public places.

Flexible Schedule

Individuals whose disabilities make it difficult for them to function in society should make a point of working for companies offering flexible schedules. Physical disabilities, in particular, can make getting ready for work in the morning an incredibly complex undertaking. Furthermore, since certain disabilities prevent people from operating motor vehicles or comfortably traveling via public transit, acceptance of occasional tardiness is needed on the part of supervisors. Disabled individuals who have frequent appointments with their physicians during regular work hours should be shown leniency and understanding from employers.

Handicap-Friendly PC Equipment

Disabled workers with careers in the tech field should be provided with handicap-friendly computer equipment. Individuals whose handicaps prohibit them from using their hands can benefit from reliable dictation software. Additionally, employees who are vision-impaired should have computers equipped with Braille-supported screen readers. Workers who aren’t blind but have considerable trouble seeing can ask for large-print keyboards and monitor-based screen enhancers.

Being disabled does not mean you have to be house-bound. With a few amenities at your disposal and the continued support of your employer, you can enjoy a rewarding career in a comfortable work environment.

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