How Can Workplaces Incorporate Braille Into Their Day to Day Practices?21 Dec, 20231-2 minutes
In this blog, you will learn:
- What braille is.
- How workplaces can incorporate braille into their day to day practices.
- Where the latest jobs are and how to apply for them.
World Braille Day, celebrated on 4th January each year, raises awareness about the importance of braille as a tactile reading and writing system for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Having a visual impairment that can’t be treated is difficult enough, but going to work can be even harder when there aren’t day-to-day practices to support employees who rely on braille. According to Sensory Trust, there are approximately 12,000 braille readers in the UK.
World Braille Day is an international day of awareness celebrated on the birthday of Louis Braille, the man who invented braille over 200 years ago. Incorporating braille is crucial for workplaces to promote inclusivity and accessibility.
With more organisations looking at how they can be inclusive and create a diverse workplace policy, discover how you can make your practices more accessible and supportive of employees with sight loss, by incorporating braille into your day to day practices.
What is braille?
Braille is a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or visually impaired. Braille is a means of literacy and a code by which many languages may be written or read by touching embossed lines or raised dots that represent letters.
The system was invented in France in 1809 and for some individuals who suffer from sight loss or a visual impairment, it is a significant part of everyday life.
How can workplaces incorporate braille into their day to day practices?
Braille assists individuals with visual impairments with their day-to-day responsibilities and can be especially effective in the workplace. The UK Association of Accessible Formats (UKAAF) is the organisation responsible for braille code regulation in the UK.
There are lots of ways workplaces can incorporate braille into their day to day practices to enhance inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with visual impairments.
Here is how workplaces can incorporate braille into their day to day practices:
- Label areas with braille.
- Make all documents accessible.
- Offer accessible facilities.
- Embrace assistive technology.
- Provide training and awareness.
- Make the recruitment process accessible.
Label areas with braille
Braille reading and writing tools are a great way to provide reasonable adjustments for visually impaired or blind employees. By incorporating braille into daily workplace practices, employers can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for everyone.
Providing labels and signage in braille, to communicate with every individual, allows employers to be more inclusive and overcome barriers.
It is also important to have tactical markings on signs or instructions such as ‘keep door closed’ and directions pointing the way to specific facilities or services such as a reception, toilets or fire exit.
Attaching braille labels to office supplies, such as folders and storage cabinets, can help visually impaired employees locate items independently.
Equipping elevators, coffee machines and water fountains with braille, labels on buttons and control panels can help visually impaired employees and visitors navigate between floors independently and make use of facilities.
It’s important to make sure all braille signs and labels are within reach and placed below or adjacent to standard text so that staff know what information is available in braille and where to find it.
Make all documents accessible
Employers can make their workplace more inclusive for employees with visual impairments by creating accessible digital documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that can be converted into braille.
Providing important documents and materials in braille format including employee manuals, safety instructions and company policies means that people with sight loss are able to do their job without needing someone to translate, explain or describe for them.
Knowing that everyone can communicate, understand and access relevant documents quickly and efficiently is crucial as it means that people with disabilities don’t have to ask for additional support or access.
Making meetings accessible by providing materials in advance to allow for braille translation, is essential for inclusivity. During meetings, provide braille materials, assistive listening devices, or braille interpreters if needed.
Offer accessible facilities
Employers should ensure that bathrooms are fully accessible to visually impaired individuals. This involves ensuring there is braille signage on toilets doors and accessible facilities within.
Placing braille labels on vending machines, appliances, and kitchen items in break rooms will also make facilities accessible for blind or visually impaired employees.
Kitchens and break rooms should be made accessible to partially-sighted employees by categorising kitchen cupboards and draws by their contents and labelling them with braille.
Listing each cupboard's contents on the inside door is advised and letting individuals, who use braille, choose where they place equipment and ingredients means they can be easily accessed.
Adding a doorbell by the reception or entrance of a company and installing handrails around the building will help blind and partially sighted people move more safely between floors.
Embrace assistive technology
Investing in assistive technology that supports braille displays and screen readers is an important step towards employers being inclusive. Workplaces should ensure that all computer systems, websites, and software are compatible with these tools to make it more accessible for employees with visual impairments.
There is a lot of technology worth embracing and investing in to give employees the ability to be independent and feel included. Technology, such as screen reader software that converts on-screen text into braille output, giving employees the ability to access and navigate digital content, should be implemented within the workplace.
Alternatively, employers might use refreshable braille displays that convert digital text into braille characters, to allow individuals to read and interact with digital content.
Provide training and awareness
Consulting with experts in accessibility and braille to ensure that your workplace practices meet the needs of visually impaired individuals effectively is advised.
Fostering a culture of understanding, where all employees are encouraged to learn about each other's needs and abilities, is a step towards an inclusive workplace.
Employers are advised to raise awareness and understanding of braille and how it can better the lives of people with visual impairments at work.
Conducting training sessions to educate employees about visual impairments, is a great way to raise awareness of braille.
Make the recruitment process accessible
Employers should ensure they make the hiring process more diverse and accessible to individuals with visual impairments.
By incorporating braille into the recruitment process, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and equal opportunities for all employees.
Employers are advised to incorporate braille into the recruitment process, including throughout job postings and application materials and to also offer accommodations during interviews as necessary.
By doing so, employers demonstrate their inclusivity and show that their vacancy is open to anyone, regardless of a visual impairment.
Jobs and recruitment
We’re proud to support diversity in the workplace and we encourage inclusive day to day practices in the workplace. If you’re searching for a new role, visit our job page and take a look at the latest opportunities! Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available.
If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to any challenges you are facing and advise on the best possible solution.
Who is Spencer Clarke Group?
Based in Lancashire, we’ve been reshaping and innovating the recruitment industry since 2017.
For us, recruitment is about more than just matching candidates and clients; we are passionate about finding candidates the perfect job that can enhance their salary and improve their work life balance.
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