A quick Google search for DDA Compliance, reveals the words ramps and rails on repeat and although it is great to see that we are making sure that individuals with limited mobility are being catered to, this is only meeting the minimum requirements set out by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The act makes it unlawful to discriminate against those with a disability1. It must be emphasised that disabilities are not limited to just an individual’s physical attributes but also include the non-visible conditions, those who are neuro divergent as well as those with mental health disorders.
By trying to exceed the DDA compliance, organisations can truly foster an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. In this blog, we will look at why going beyond DDA compliance is fundamental to social sustainability in the workplace and what practical steps can be taken to achieve excellence.
DDA Compliance over the years has felt like a tick box exercise for those who are affected and those who enforce it. What we have become accustomed to is the baseline standard, however exceeding these requirements shows commitment, as an organisation, to equality, diversity, and inclusion for those with disabilities. By taking an active role in identifying and working on accessibility barriers, an organisation can proudly promote a positive and empowering work environment where all employees, no matter their abilities, can feel valued.
Exceeding DDA compliance is beneficial for the employee but, very much so, the company. With greater access to facilities, technology, and opportunities for employees’ professional grow, this in turn can benefit the company as productivity enhances, job satisfaction rises thus leading to a more committed workforce. An inclusive workplace, will no doubt, enhance the reputation of the company, attracting a more diverse talent pool which can lead to long term success.
To start the process of achieving accessibility excellence, the following should be considered:
- Performing comprehensive accessibility audits with employees throughout the year, to encourage the organisation to revaluate their policies to ensure they remain inclusive. Involving employees in the audit process will offer invaluable feedback that can shape the workplace into a more meaningful experience.
- Engaging with accessibility experts for guidance; taking on board how to further improve employee’s wellbeing through the office environment and implementing universal design principles. Transforming the workplace into a space where it not only promotes diversity but empowers individuals with disabilities and help them thrive.
- Ensuring that all individuals can access the organisation’s digital assets, this can be in the form of ongoing training, promoting awareness to difficulties individuals can face when learning. Establishing clear processes to help support and accommodate everyone to conduct their tasks comfortably, regardless of their ability.
- Collaborating with disability advocacy groups outside of the workplace can help organisations gain further insight and stay up to date with the latest accessibility innovations.
In short, DDA compliance is not solely about fulfilling a legal obligation; it is about fulfilling a moral obligation. By going above and beyond, organisations can not only create a workplace culture that celebrates diversity but can also empower all individuals to reach their full potential. It is fundamental to acknowledge that embracing accessibility excellence is a journey that requires ongoing effort and commitment if you are wanting to be a resilient, and innovative organisation that is ready to meet the challenges of the future.
 Disability Discrimination Act (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/)
 Office Principles (https://officeprinciples.com/insights/accessible-office-disability-workplace)