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Staying Accessible In The Winter


Imagine David, a wheel chair bound employee for ABC Corporation.

He is typically on time and will even work late to get the job done correctly. David is valued member of his work community and well-respected. However, the recent series of storms has truly hampered his ability to stay mobile. The personnel of the train line he takes didn’t clear the accessible ramp; therefore David had to drive to the next station in hopes of access to the train platform.

When he arrives at work, he finds that the accessible door that allows for wheelchair access has been frozen while able-bodied colleagues walk in the side door. When he travels to the pharmacy, he sees that an absent-minded snow removal attendant did clear the handicapped space, but piled the snow so close to the space  that swing his door wide enough to get out.

Life is tough enough in a wheel chair, but the weather has made it particularly treacherous.

In reflection, the country has been slammed with named storm, after nor’easter, after power outages and accidents. The winter tends to stress people while providing additional challenges in travel and communication. While fuses may be short, employers and businesses shouldn’t forget clients and colleagues who still have a right to accessible services and venues even in the winter months. Some things to remember:

  • Be sure to attend to the accessibility needs of your community with the same priority as clearing sidewalks and doorways for other customers and employees. While organizations are concerned about slip and fall accidents for everyone in the ice, those with mobility concerns should not be overlooked in the haste to clear the walk.
  • Keep alternative communication in mind. With power lines down, and cable or internet lines compromised, some who have the need for alternative communication may be without a clear line of communication. Establish such options early for employees who will also need to know of early dismissals or delayed openings.
  • In between storms, ask employees and customers if their mobility and accessibility needs were met. Despite the storm, their rights to reasonable accommodation still stay intact. Proactive communication can keep everyone mobile, communicating and proactive.

Whether the ground hog saw his shadow or not, employers and businesses still have to see their way to maintaining reasonable accommodation and access to those who require it. A review of the grounds and communication procedures will be a productive measure to get through a rough winter season.

Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.

 

JenningsWire.com is an online feature magazine created by National Publicist, Annie Jennings, of the PR Firm specializing in providing publicity services and book promotion to  authors, speakers and experts. Annie’s firm offers the famous pay for placement publicity program as well the powerful radio talk show campaign that comes up a guarantee of performance, bookings on big radio talk shows in major cities as well as unlimited media training.


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