By Valley Medical Center’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
As we celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, we acknowledge that people with disabilities are still too often marginalized. As a society we must not only embrace the talents and skills of people with disabilities, but take action for equity within the workplace and communities.
What can you do? If you have coworkers, volunteer for an organization, or are an employer, you probably work with someone who has a disability and that disability might only be known to the person it affects. Valley is continually working toward a more inclusive environment for our patients, visitors and staff, including those with disabilities.
Here are a few tips recently shared within our organization to improve access for those with disabilities when in meetings (virtual or in person) or planning for in-person spaces/events to ensure equitable access and participation:
- In an online meeting, ask if there is a preference for closed captioning being turned on.
- Ask the group first and consider if recording the meeting is appropriate to ensure that those who need to revisit information can access the meeting.
- Ensure print is large and clear.
- If using colors, make sure colors are contrasted. Try this tool: webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/.
- Add ALT text for visuals on PowerPoints or other flyers. Learn more.
- Ensure online documents are screen-reader accessible (Heads up, most PDFs are not accessible! Find guidance.)
- Consider if a wheelchair can easily navigate the space.
- Share information about the building accessibility (push-button doors, accessible bathrooms, ramps, functioning elevators, clear signage, accessible parking nearby, etc.)
- When serving food, consider allergies.