Over 7 million people of working age in the UK have a disability, all of whom have equal rights to enjoy a fulfilling career. With this in mind, it is useful for organisations to have an appreciation of the role assistive technology plays in getting people with disabilities into work, and helping them stay there.
In January 2019, BATA gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee's inquiry about the role of assistive tech in removing barriers in the workplace. They offered some simple tips on how to help include and support assistive technology users at work:
- Ensure that effective assistive technology is readily available. This should be designed for employment or enterprise and be able to access your networks or the applications your company uses. The Government's Access to Work scheme offers advice, practical support and grants for eligible personnel.
- Be open to making reasonable adjustments and be sensitive about how assistive technology is applied, to ensure those who need it can use it without feeling like they 'stand out'. If you are still unsure, talk to an expert such as a Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) or one of the assistive technology expert at Dolphin.
- Ensure all digital services are accessible to every employee by utilising these guidelines on Government accessibility requirements.
- Schools and universities could allow students to take their assistive technology with them when they move from education into work, this can help make the journey simpler, as they will already understand the technology they use. It might also save the student money.
- Companies providing assistive technology could allow employees who use it to take their equipment or software with them when they move department or jobs. This will help make the transition into a new role or department easier.