Enabling people to reach their full potential with Assistive Technology

Most of us recognise that there are numerous products that support individuals with disabilities and impairments in the workplace, helping them perform tasks, and better engage with workplace systems. What tends to surprise people is that 1 in 5 of us have a long-term illness, impairment, or disability. In Finyx’s experience, organisations are unaware of just how many of their employees could benefit from Assistive Technology (AT). Therefore, not all staff are being provided with the necessary tools to meet their full performance potential and concerningly, organisations may not be meeting government Accessibility Regulations.

For a recent client undertaking a significant application implementation, 12% of the workforce were found to have AT needs. Having identified the impacted audience, Finyx worked with the organisation to implement AT for their staff including voice recognition software, screen reading applications, and literacy/dyslexia tools.

Organisations that do not meet the Government’s accessibility requirements or fail to provide a satisfactory response to a request to produce information in an accessible format, will be in breach of three pieces of legislation. Organisations deemed to be ‘failing to make reasonable adjustments’ will be in violation of the Equality Act 2010, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and the 2018 Accessibility Regulation. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) have enforced hefty fines against offending organisations, which can cause serious reputational damage.

Helpful tools in your workplace

The importance of AT is its ability to support employees with disabilities and impairments reach their professional potential. It can break down barriers in the workplace allowing people to be more productive and stay in employment longer. The fast paced, technology focused nature of the modern workplace means that people with so much to give professionally are entirely excluded without AT.

AT ranges from simple tools and adaptations to more complex computer systemt’s crucial to keep in mind that not all AT is complex. Occasionally, the most straightforward solutions can be the most appropriate.

Key Benefits

Increased Productivity

These technologies can help enhance employee productivity, which can lead to greater professional achievement for employees and productivity improvements for employers. For example, employees will be able to read and decipher text better and communicate better on virtual meetings due to built-in subtitle features. AT also allows businesses to meet formal health and safety requirements. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace to accommodate employees with any impairments. This includes making sure that employees have access to appropriate AT.

Better Workplace Communication

The use of AT can help break down communication barriers and make it easier for employees to communicate with each other, which can improve collaboration and increase productivity. Employees with visual impairment can use a ‘Screen Reader’ to access documents, emails, webpages and more with ease. Screen reading software helps boost communications between all employees.

Better Mental Health Support

AT can help support employees living with mental health conditions, by providing specialised assistance to complete tasks and participate in the workplace. For example, an employee who struggles with anxiety can use a noise-cancelling headset to help reduce stress and thus anxiety. Similarly, an employee who has difficulty concentrating can use a productivity timer to stay on task. By providing your workforce with AT, employees can receive the support they need to manage their mental health, which can significantly improve workplace well-being, satisfaction, and performance.

More Employee Independence

AT increases employee independence. Employees can complete tasks without needing to rely on others for assistance. The increased independence can lead to improved job satisfaction, self-esteem, and confidence, which can boost motivation and productivity.

How can Finyx help?

Finyx specialise in helping organisations undergoing digital transformation address accessibility and realise the benefits discussed above. The process also involves working alongside the solution being built and ensuring that this solution is accessible to all users. This involves understanding the users’ current ways of working, and how the new solution will change the way they use technology. The process also involves analysing any new AT requirements of the users and working with suppliers to integrate them into the wider solution.

Whether you need to better understand your workforces’ accessibility requirements, need to implement AT, or provide AT training, Finyx can help. We have proven delivery experience in this area, a unique blend of insight and experience, and we pride ourselves on delivering practical solutions that help you and your workforce directly. Please reach out to Abz Adi (abz.adi@finyx.com) if you’d like to find out more.