Are you a disabled person with a job? Then I bet you probably have come across a couple of incidents that have made you feel a little aggravated or baffled. It has become such an everyday occurrence that disabled people continually find themselves in situations where they must fight to be heard.
As if finding employment is not hard enough when you are disabled, or if you are confined to a wheelchair. In most cases disabled people or wheelchair users tend to not voice their opinions that much and therefore they experience discrimination in the workplace.
They are also disadvantaged in the sense that workplaces tend to be inaccessible to them. Most places do not cater to the needs of a person with a disability. Due to these facts and the struggle that ensues before a job is landed, it is disheartening when after the perfect job is obtained, the problems do not necessarily end there.
Let us look at five things wheelchair users will most definitely hate at the workplace. These situations might hopefully not happen to you, but also remember that these points are subjective. What you might find annoying, might not be that annoying to the next person.
An Inappropriate Desk Height
Nothing is as annoying when you are a wheelchair user, and an office worker, as coming to work and finding your desk to be the wrong height and frankly uncomfortable, making it difficult for you to work in your wheelchair.
An inappropriate desk height makes tasks that are supposed to be simple quite tedious and tiring. This is something that should not really be an issue as it can be remedied in no time. To fix this problem the workplace can provide adjustable desks.
Staff Members Crouching Down for A Conversation
Wheelchair users do not take it kindly when you crouch down to speak to them. Imagine therefore how annoying it must be for a wheelchair user when a colleague in a professional setting goes down on their haunches, to chat at eye level.
Though it may seem appropriate and friendly, or the right thing to do, for a wheelchair user it is regarded as patronizing and should not happen, especially not when in a workplace setting.
Walkways That Are Cluttered at The Office
It is an irritation for wheelchair users to be working with staff members who leave stuff lying around in the workplace, especially when the walkways of the offices are too narrow.
Apart from it being a fire hazard and could probably lead to an obstruction in the case of fire, it would be to the disadvantage of the wheelchair user in the case of hasty evacuations. Not only is it a hazard in those situations but also in cases where they need to go to the toilet for instance.
It goes without saying that pathways ought to be kept clear in the workplace to ensure free movement for everyone be they disabled or not.
People Who Think You Cannot Handle Heavy Workloads
It is quite amazing the kinds of things people assume when they see someone with a disability. Of course, the first thought that might come to mind is not to overburden a disabled person with a big workload, especially in the workplace.
This thought might be meant in a good way, mostly out of concern for the disabled. But what people should not do is to assume that others want their workloads lightened just because they have a disability or are confined to a wheelchair. This type of thinking forms part of patronizing behavior and is regarded as discriminatory.
Employers Who Assume That You Will Take A Lot Of Sick Leave
This is a pattern of thought that in most cases prevents a wheelchair user from landing that job in the first place. For one or the other reason employers at times would see a disabled person and assume that they somehow would be needing a lot of medical attention and would thus be taking off a lot of time from work to go to medical appointments.
Never judge disabled people or assume that you know what is going on with them.
Not only is it completely incorrect to do so, thinking that all disabled people have complex care needs, but it is also discriminatory.