If you’ve made it to this page, we’re assuming you work for a business and you want to create a better working environment for all your employees. So first off, well done you! You’re exactly the kind of business we love working with, and you’re taking the first steps towards a workplace that’s a whole lot more diverse.
Secondly, never forget that making your workplace more inclusive doesn’t just benefit employees with disabilities. For example, creating a more accessible website generally means making instructions clearer, making it gentler on the eye and easier to navigate. Our current business partners report that working with our graduates, some of whom have learning differences, has created a better working environment for everyone involved (here’s an interview where one of our business partners talks about the benefits).
So without further ado, here’s our top five tips for making your business more inclusive. As we mainly work with Thai businesses, we’ve focused on Thailand, but many of these points are applicable wherever you are in the world.
1. Make your websites more accessible
Does the contrast of colour on your website and/or intranet work for people with visual impairments? Are links and other navigation clearly labelled within the code for people using screenreaders? Are videos captioned for those with hearing impairments? Here’s a handy list of accessible website design techniques. Your tech and digital teams should be accessibility trained so they fully understand accessible design and web content.
2. Create visual supports alongside written instructions in your workplace
You’ll be surprised how many people benefit from visual supports, both those with and those without ‘disabilities’. These can be for everyday things, such as how to use the photocopier, using in trays and out trays, and having visual flowcharts for processes (eg completing claims forms, petty cash etc). Here’s an example of a visual guide to using the photocopier in the Steps office.
3. Start the conversation with HR and/or management about hiring someone with a disability
This does need some planning and – for larger organisations – we would suggest building a culture of inclusion first. Diversity and inclusion training is a great first step. Another easy win is to check if there are any centres or agencies you could work with (like Steps) in your local community: vocational colleges, government services, or specialists can all help guide you. Engaging with the right people early on will make the process smoother.
Specify you’re an inclusive employer throughout the recruitment process. It will help you attract the right employees to help you build the culture.
4. Build trust with current and future employees
Sadly, in Thailand, some employees are not comfortable with disclosing a disability. They fear they will not be employed, or will be employed to hit quota requirements but then not formally accepted.
5. Ensure your premises is fully accessible to those with disabilities
Here is the template we use to ensure our business is as accessible as it possibly can be. We hope it helps you build a more inclusive working environment, which ultimately means a more inclusive world for us all.
If you’re based in Thailand and would like to work with graduates from our vocational training centre, or simply want advice on hiring people with disabilities, check out our business partner pages, or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
More about us
Our business partners
Steps is working with 14 business partners to help create a broad range of opportunities for our graduates.
We are lucky enough to work with a big group of talented, determined and enthusiastic trainees.
Our Vocational centres
Our vocational centres offer UK-accredited training in a friendly environment. Read more about them.