It is becoming more and more common to see wheelchair users in the workplace. So what does an employer need to know about hiring someone with this type of disability?
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA makes it is a crime to discriminate against those with disabilities. This means if your employee is qualified and able to perform essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation, they cannot be fired or passed over for a promotion. However, it does not cover temporary disabilities.
Reasonable Accommodations for Wheelchairs
Making accommodations for employees who use wheelchairs isn’t as difficult as you might think. Having doors that open with the push of a button is one wheelchair friendly idea. Wheelchair accessible halls and doorways is another. You can also make your workplace wheelchair friendly by making sure that bathrooms, as well as break rooms, are easily navigated.
Wheelchair users may require some flexibility with their schedules. Doctor’s appointments and mobility issues may make it necessary to allow your employee to work longer hours on some days and shorter hours on others.
Wheelchair Friendly Office Equipment
Having adjustable work desks will help to make the office more wheelchair friendly. Allow employees to use middle drawers in the file cabinets that are easier for them to reach. Making just small adjustments can make a big difference to those who use a wheelchair.
Employees will most likely require some accommodations on the part of the employer. But, in most cases, these will not be difficult or expensive. Above all, employers need to remember that a differently abled employee is simply an employee. They may need some special accommodations, but they are still just people there to do a job. And that is what matters.