Every employee is unique. The most successful companies embrace this and build diverse organizations. It’s essential for them to create a work space that’s accessible, usable, convenient, and pleasing to use for the greatest number of people. And how do you do that? Through Universal Design.
Universal Design is a term coined in the 80s. Often called accessible design or inclusive design, it’s a concept that was originally developed for people with disabilities. Now it has a wider audience. Creating a work environment that is safe, attractive, and easy for everyone has gained widespread popularity.
The following are key examples of Universal Design in the workplace:
Assistive technology is a huge benefit for employees who have hearing and vision disabilities. Employees perform daily tasks with ease when they have access to accessories such as:
- Screen readers
- Screen overlays
- Voice recognition software
- Text-to-speech programs
- Apps for smartphones and tablets
As I’ve often mentioned, employees are most productive when they’re at ease in their environment. Specialized office equipment can ensure all employees have comfortable and accessible work areas:
Altering features used daily, like door handles, light switches, and vending machine buttons, can make a big impact. To benefit employees with limited dexterity, consider design updates like these:
- Use lever-shaped door handles instead of round knobs.
- Install flat-panel light switches rather than small toggle switches.
Small structural changes can make a big difference in accessibility and inclusion. Widening interior doors and hallways and replacing steps with ramps is beneficial for all employees, especially to those who have trouble getting around.
Designing for inclusion is a win-win for companies and workers alike. But that doesn’t mean bland, institutional-looking work areas. Employees are looking for smart and stylish products. And we can deliver design that’s both functional and fashionable. Contact Alliance Corporate Services to transform your space into one that promotes accessibility with style.