While progress is being made to make physical adjustments for disabled people in workplaces, many employees are still facing significant barriers at work.
That’s according to a new survey on workplace adjustments announced at the Business Disability Forum’s annual conference in London.
The survey found that almost three quarters of respondents working with disabilities or conditions who had adjustments in place felt that the arrangements had made a positive difference, removing some of the barriers they experience in workplace.
However, only 19% of respondents with adjustments in place felt they had helped to remove all workplace barriers.
The survey raises questions about whether the types of support in place are meeting the needs of employees who have been through the process and secured adjustments.
Of all survey respondents with disabilities or conditions who are already working with workplace adjustments, under half said that they had all the adjustments they needed.
Another 27% had requested other or alternative adjustments that were not yet in place, and 29% had considered them but decided not to request them.
Concerns over the perceptions of their employer and the reactions of colleagues were identified as some of the key reasons for not requesting additional or new adjustments.
In terms of the process itself, whilst it is working well for some, the experiences of respondents with disabilities or conditions and adjustments in place showed instances where improvements could be made.
These included the waiting time for adjustments to be put in place, from the initial conservation.
When asked about the future and based on their experience, only three out of ten respondents were confident their employers would ‘definitely’ respond to adjustment requests, if needed.
Diane Lightfoot CEO of Business Disability Forum, said: “We were overwhelmed by the response we received to our workplace adjustments survey. This shows how incredibly important the topic of adjustments is.
“The survey reveals that, when in place, adjustments can have a significant and positive impact on the workplace experiences of disabled people or people with long term conditions.
“Yet, our findings also suggest that at present far too many people do not have any or all the adjustments they need. Many respondents are still worried about asking for adjustments to be put in place, despite feeling that they would benefit from such arrangements.”