Preparing To Welcome A New Disabled Employee

Welcome A New Disabled Employee

It wasn’t that long ago that people with disabilities were shunted aside from daily life, left alone to cope with their problems. Fortunately, much has changed for the better now as society has become more aware and accepting of those that are different, giving the disabled a new lease on life.

One of the areas where things have improved is in employment. We have finally learned that people with disabilities are capable of much more than they were formally thought to be, and the advantages of hiring disabled workers are actually manifold.


Introducing A Disabled Employee To The Work Culture

This is not to say that there are no attendant difficulties with welcoming a disabled employee into your company; of course, there are, but nothing that can’t be surmounted with patience and planning.

Here are some of the steps you can take to make your business inclusive that go beyond the hiring process and will help everyone involved work together with confidence and respect.

Implement company-wide training, preferably by an experienced consultant. There are three tiers to this:


Having the top brass buy-in is going to imprint on everyone else how important this is. Seeing the company president get the same training as everyone else goes a long way to negating the stigma and fear that surround the disabled, showing that you are all in this together.

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Perhaps the most crucial player in all this management needs to feel secure in their relationship with the disabled employee by having an understanding of what they can and sometimes cannot do on the job. They will naturally feel fear of making mistakes and need to feel the freedom to voice their concerns and be given the specific tools to properly manage people with disabilities respectfully and with achieving success together firmly in mind.


The people on the front lines need to have clear and applicable training on disability inclusion and awareness. The training will help them feel more comfortable and able to engage better with their new disabled co-worker.

It is also very important to provide appropriate support for employees with disabilities on the job. The best method is to have long-term support strategies in place, which might include necessary accommodations and assistive technologies. Include everyone in the implementation of these steps so they will understand you are all in it together, and feel like part of the solution to problems, rather than fearing them.

6 Steps To Make A Workplace Friendly For Disabled Workforce

Disabled employees might be more talented and capable than one might think. As a leader, you must not focus on their disabilities. Rather treat them just like a usual employee so that he doesn’t feel distinct. Given below are some steps to create a welcoming workplace for physically challenged employees: 

Inhibit Ableist Language

One of the first steps is to include discouragement of ableist language while addressing these employees in the awareness campaigns. There might be certain terms included in the program which must not be used for a person with disabilities. The answer is quite simple: make use of terminology a disabled individual prefers. Languages like clumsy, lazy, deaf, lame, fat, short, skinny, etc should never be encouraged within an organization. 

Recognize Disability-Related Communication Styles

Our minds are often impacted by both visible and invisible forms of disabilities. Like, those having mobility impairments and using crutches or wheelchairs are usually considered “too slow.” Employees with cognitive or sensory disabilities communicate in a different way that might be a bit complex to comprehend. Coworkers must be taught to be a little more patient and understanding towards a disabled person.

Refrain From Making Insensitive Jokes

Encouraging or tolerating jokes about disabilities is the most unethical activity performed within an organization. Additionally, it is significant to keep in mind that disabled individuals are already under tremendous social pressure. The use of insulting words, even if the employee says he is fine, must always be refrained. With reputation and time, they might develop an increasingly dispiriting and hostile environment for physically challenged employees. 

Conduct Accessible Company Events

Whether an event within the organization is formal or informal, always try to conduct it, keeping in mind your disabled workforce. They must get the opportunity to participate completely in all social events. Generally, it is a great idea to give up on venues having numerous stairs and no wheelchair accessibility. If possible, try to arrange transport options for this particular set of employees so that nothing holds them back while proceeding further. 

Offer Accommodations Quietly, Not Secretly 

Never make a spectacle of all the special arrangements and accommodations you provide to a disabled employee. It is a better idea to refrain from the temptation of hovering as well as micromanagement in a visible way. Also, never discuss these in front of the rest of the workforce. Although accommodations are not a dark secret, you must not talk a lot about it. Well, that’s the sign of a great leader!

Take Immediate And Necessary Actions Whenever Needed 

While this point bears a resemblance to the first one, you must take necessary actions against disability discouragement. There should be no acceptable space for managers or coworkers to let a disabled employee feel down. If you find someone doing it once, shush it off by providing a warning. But if things get repeated, it’s better to take immediate action against it. Set an example so that nobody encourages such behaviors.

Wrapping It Up

Everybody in the workplace wants to feel valued. Employers should be looking for ways to keep their employees engaged, and in that way, they can increase their retention over the years because nothing is more valuable than a seasoned employee of any ability.

Presentations from company leadership are a valuable form of direct messaging to instill the sense of teamwork needed for the best level of inclusion. If this is the first time you have hired a disabled person, use what has been learned as a template for the next one. The government is also ready to help with its support programs.

With this, I bring my article to an end. Disability is a sensitive issue, and I hope my write-up encouraged you all to be more thoughtful co-workers. Thank you for reading!

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