How Improving Digital Accessibility Can Help Overcome Disability in the Workplace

How Improving Digital Accessibility Can Help to

Overcome Disability in the Workplace

How Improving Digital Accessibility Can Help Overcome Disability in the Workplace

Our jobs and ways of working will change profoundly in the next decade. The Institute for the Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world forecast that 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 do not exist today. Ensuring that everyone can benefit from the economic opportunities in the new digital economy is a key priority. That is why skill building and accessibility are essential to success in a changing world. The number of people with different accessibility needs is equivalent to the population of China. That’s over a billion people. When technology reflects the overall diversity the users, there are no limits to what organizations can achieve. Let´s have a look at some practical ways to make your workplace more inclusive and accessible.

Start Including People with Disabilities

There are more than 1 billion people - or 15% of the global population - with disabilities, either permanent or temporary, including those affecting visual, mobility, hearing, cognitive, speech and neural functions. 70% of disabilities are invisible. Yet, people with disabilities are still twice as likely to be unemployed, compared to those without a disability. For example, in UK only 53.2% of people with disabilities are in employment, versus 81.8%, of the non-disabled population.

Today technology has made it easier to hire people with disabilities and integrate them into the workforce. Driving disability inclusion may seem daunting, but everybody needs to start somewhere and the good news is that you don’t have to recreate the wheel. Our business partner Microsoft offers simple, practical advice: “If you’re wondering where to start with the inclusion of people with disabilities, hire someone. Find an incredible individual who will empower your organization with the expertise you may not have had before,” recommends Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Head of Accessibility at Microsoft. This is the right thing to do – not just from an ethical point of view, but also from a strictly business perspective.

Final Thoughts

Today, it’s critical that IT and HR teams work closely together to ensure that the diversity and inclusion goals of their organizations are met. HR teams are best suited to advise the IT department on the needs of employees and how to sensitively make any change.

Consider technologies like Microsoft 365. These technologies allow people to make their computing experience more comfortable so they can embrace more of what the world and the workplace have to offer. Accessible technology enables your organization to connect with a broader talent pool and a bigger client base. Fundamentally, no workplace is truly modern until it's accessible and inclusive to all.

If you want to start transforming your organization into an accessible and inclusive workplace, make sure you have an experienced partner on your side. SoftwareONE provides the best Microsoft solutions and managed services to support customers in their digital transformation initiatives. 365Simple helps organizations accelerate the adoption of Microsoft 365 and quickly realize all of its benefits, including its full range of accessibility features.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion Through Technology

If costs are tight, business owners may not want to invest a big portion of profits into making changes to the workplace. However, even organizations with small budgets are already working to improve accessibility and to be inclusive of people with health conditions or other disabilities. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to hire outstanding employees by improving your company’s digital accessibility.

Download our Accessibility Research Report

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Simon Bishop, author SoftwareONE Blog

Simon Bishop

Global Head - Recruitment

Talent Acquisition

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