HOW TO TAKE AC­TION

HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE THE WORK­PLACE BET­TER FOR ALL

Computer Arts - - Industry Issues -

DYS­LEXIA

Dys­lexia can cause dif­fi­culty read­ing and writ­ing, as well as af­fect­ing time­m­an­age­ment and the abil­ity to keep track of in­for­ma­tion. To help: give in­struc­tions ver­bally; pro­vide text-to-speech or speech-to-text soft­ware; al­low meet­ings to be recorded; use easy-to-read fonts (for ex­am­ple, Ver­dana, Arial or free spe­cial­ist font Open Dyslexic); and pro­vide writ­ten in­for­ma­tion on coloured pa­per and us­ing screen tints.

HEAR­ING IM­PAIR­MENTS

Adapt­ing your stu­dio for deaf or hear­ing-im­paired em­ploy­ees can in­clude some spa­tial and tech­no­log­i­cal tweaks. Re­think workspaces to sit­u­ate reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tors op­po­site each other so lips and faces can be seen eas­ily; min­imise back­ground noise (par­tic­u­larly in meet­ing rooms); video call rather than con­fer­ence call; pro­vide hear­ing aid-com­pat­i­ble phones (or an in­duc­tion loop); sub­ti­tle video con­tent; and pro­vide recog­ni­tion speech-to-text soft­ware or a BSL in­ter­preter if/when needed.

MEN­TAL HEALTH IS­SUES

One in four of us will suf­fer from some sort of men­tal health is­sue in our lives. Adapt­abil­ity in the work­place, such as work­ing from home or flex­i­ble hours, can help. Build men­tal health days into your sick day al­lowance; of­fer men­tal health train­ing for line man­agers; en­cour­age all em­ploy­ees to make a Well­ness Ac­tion Plan; and keep an eye on a com­mon trig­ger – stress – with reg­u­lar catch ups.

AUTISM

Autism and Asperger’s syn­drome can af­fect com­mu­ni­ca­tion and the abil­ity to un­der­stand feel­ings and can make meet­ing new peo­ple or adapt­ing to new rou­tines chal­leng­ing. To help, de­velop a struc­tured work day (with big tasks bro­ken down); avoid ab­stract lan­guage; ex­plain the eti­quette and un­writ­ten rules of the work­place; give di­rect feed­back; and min­imise sen­sory dis­trac­tions.

MO­BIL­ITY CHAL­LENGES

De­pend­ing on your em­ploy­ees’ needs, you can: in­stall lifts and widen door­ways; of­fer height-ad­justable desks; make sure fil­ing cab­i­nets, ket­tles, prin­ters, etc, are within reach; re­move ob­sta­cles; of­fer nearby park­ing; and agree on an emer­gency evac­u­a­tion pro­ce­dure if staff mem­bers re­quire as­sis­tance.

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