Even companies and organizations that have embraced other diversity initiatives have failed to include disability, and it has been difficult for disability advocates to move the needle in a meaningful way, despite people with disabilities making up 15% of the global population. But with the right diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in place, these barriers can be removed.
Organizations can start with creating or choosing accessible workplaces or modernizing existing workplaces to ADA standards. Beyond ADA, optimal design is encompassing of the disability spectrum and should consider not just physical and sensory disability, but non-evident disability as well. For example, some airport concourses and companies are providing quiet spaces to support travelers or colleagues with challenges related to anxiety, crowding, loudness or din, or who need more focus or to simply reduce stress – and who doesn’t need that occasionally?