Accessibility - an issue for HR

In the next few years, accessibility will change from a topic for experts to a task for everyone, especially for human ressources. You can find out the reasons here.

The main reason is demographic change. Unless a miracle happens, employees will become older and older in the next few years. The number of infirmities will increase as a result: Back problems, climbing stairs, working at a computer - there are numerous challenges that can be summarised with the buzzword well-being at work and that are related to accessibility.

So it's about the design of the workplace, the building, the canteen, the digital working environment, but also about accessibility by car and public transport, locations for external events and celebrations or accessible online meetings. By the way, it's a shame that you can't beat persons up for poor voice quality in online meetings - everybody should be able to spare the 40 € for a USB headset for the sake of your hearing-impaired colleagues.

There are a lot of issues and it will not always be possible to call in external experts.

Now, not every HR manager has to become an accessibility expert - that is hardly feasible anyway and they have plenty of other tasks.

But they must at least get some basics down. As far as I know, the topic of disability is hardly mentioned in the training programmes, at most in the context of vocational rehabilitation. But accessibility is more prevention than rehabilitation and should therefore be understood as part of prevention.

Possibly, accessibility is or will also become a part of personnel marketing. If persons have to work longer, they are more likely to do so in an environment where they can cope. And of course they find it easier there. Maybe some persons retire earlier because they can no longer do their job because of a lack of accessibility.

Read more on accessibility in the workplace