Last updated: 17.06.24

The Advantages of Accessibility in the Workplace


In 2021-2022, 1 in 4 people in the UK had a disability, according to Government data. Many members of this cohort are in employment across a diverse range of sectors and industries. From having learning disabilities to being deaf, blind, or motor impaired, the spectrum of disabilities is vast and varied, and both visible and invisible. 

To accommodate those with disabilities in the workplace, it’s critical that barriers are removed and adjustments are made within organisations for several reasons. Accessibility in any professional working and learning environment can reap huge benefits for employers and their employees, such as increasing productivity and efficiency and improving company culture. 

By helping break down barriers disabled individuals may face at work, your organisation takes strides to build an inclusive workplace for all. It’s the responsibility of all those working in an organisation to understand how to build an accessible workplace, but it is also critical that employers, employees, and managers first understand the benefits of accessibility in the workplace before they do this. 

In this article, our team has shared the advantages of accessibility, as well as how to improve your company training to be more accessible in our ever-evolving digital era where training your workforce is as important as ever. 

What is Accessibility in the Workplace

Accessibility in the workplace refers to your work environment having minimal or no barriers in place that can stop your employees with disabilities from completing their duties properly. Equally, having an accessible workplace will mean that they can also be an active contributor to your company culture. 

This extends beyond just physical accessibility, which could include barriers such as:

  • Not having wheelchair or lift access to offices
  • Not having accessible bathrooms
  • A lack of braille signage

Accessibility in the workplace also encompasses digital accessibility, including the technology that is widely used across an organisation, how processes are executed digitally - like redundancy discussions - as well as access to meetings and training courses.

The Equality Act 2010 is a UK legislation that was put in place to lay down the provisions and ensure equal rights and opportunities for those with disabilities in the workplace, to reduce discrimination. Despite this legislation, many companies still need to do more to accommodate those with disabilities at work and learn more about how they can break down the barriers they face.

Why is Accessibility in the Workplace Important?

By creating an accessible workplace in which all members of your team can fully participate, you ensure that your employees feel included and that they’re getting the most out of their roles, as well being a business that is operating efficiently.

It’s important to approach accessibility not just with those with disabilities in mind, but by adopting a broader perspective to think about all of your employees. This way, you ensure that everyone can work productively in an accessible environment, and create a positive experience for all within your organisation. 

By adopting this approach, everyone can contribute their unique perspectives and talents towards an organisation’s goals and can also work towards reaching their individual learning outcomes. This is especially important for team collaboration, the sharing of information and knowledge, and the creation of a positive working culture within an organisation. 

What are the Benefits of Accessibility in the Workplace?

Whilst we’ve addressed that there are a broad range of benefits of accessibility in a workplace environment, what exactly are they on an individual level? Here are some of the most important advantages of accessibility in the workplace for employers, employees, and managers to better understand the importance of an accessible workplace. 

Broader Talent Pool 

By making your workplace, as well as recruitment processes, more accessible, you increase your chances of attracting a broader and more diverse set of talented individuals. This includes those with disabilities, who may have previously been underrepresented in your workforce. 

Having a diverse workforce with a wide variety of skills and talents can be put to good use in your business, creating an atmosphere filled with new and different ideas and perspectives, and one that thrives by using these individual differences to its advantage. 

Increased Productivity and Employee Wellbeing

Improving accessibility in the workplace can enhance productivity. This is because breaking down barriers faced by disabled people at work makes it easier for them to navigate their workplace environments and access tools, information, and resources that they need to work more efficiently and productively. 

Not just this, but by breaking down these accessibility barriers you are making employees feel like they are seen and heard, more comfortable and accommodated, and therefore happier in their roles. This, in turn, leads to an increase in productivity. 

Having a happy workforce is key to business success, with your employees putting in their best efforts to drive your organisation forward and meet goals. It will also mean that your employee attrition rates are lower and that your employees are more engaged at work. 

Compliant With Legislation 

Developing an accessible workplace means you’re complying with legal requirements and regulations. These legislations, which include the aforementioned Equality Act 2010, work to ensure that employees with disabilities are suitably protected in the workplace, and accommodated by employers.

By creating a more accessible workplace, you’re ensuring that you remain compliant with these legislations and avoid having legal action taken against you if you are deemed to be unsuitably accommodating people with disabilities. 

Culture of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

One of the biggest benefits of accessibility in the workplace is that it promotes a culture of inclusivity and diversity. Diversity and inclusion, or D&I, are critical to creating a positive company culture in which you show your employees that they are all individually appreciated and respected for what they do for your company. If your employees feel valued and respected, they will be more dedicated to working towards your company goals. 

Improved Creativity and Innovation

By making your workplace more accessible, you open the floor for a diverse range of people to join your business, who contribute different perspectives and unique experiences. These unique viewpoints make for a creative working environment in which people can collaborate and come up with more innovative strategies and ideas. 

Not only this but when faced with problems and challenges, having this diverse workforce will work in your company’s favour. This is because different perspectives can lead to more outside-of-the-box thinking that helps to highlight new approaches to situations which you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of if your team were smaller and less diverse. 

We offer a guide outlining our approach to inclusive design. This is something we as a learner-focused company take very seriously, and this guide offers you a glimpse into how to create an inclusive design to make your workplace more accessible, and why it matters. 

How to Improve the Accessibility of Your Workplace Training

Workplace training is an incredibly important aspect of your business. It helps your employees develop crucial skills to operate more effectively in their roles and to support your business.

As such, making your workplace training and e-learning resources accessible is important so all members of your team can equally undertake this without barriers. Whilst this does add time and cost to the development process, and can be quite a challenge when you get started, the learning created as a result is an invaluable resource which can be used by everyone.

So, how can you make your training more accessible? Here are a few important elements to consider.

Add Subtitles to your Videos

Adding subtitles to your training videos not only supports your learners who have auditory impairments but is also great for non-native speakers, those who don’t have a sound card or audio devices, and individuals training in a noisy environment to help them focus.

Think About the Function of Your Images

According to research by Clark and Mayer, the Coherence Principle states that: “people learn better when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included.” But, when it comes to designing e-learning content, this is an easy mistake to make. 

Ensure you go through your learning content to decide which images are adding value and which shouldn’t be there in the first place. This will help you use more meaningful images within the content and, as a result, benefit all your learners.

This will also mean you can ensure that the images that you do want to include are compatible with screen reading, so those with visual impairments can understand them.

Display Information in Different Ways

By displaying information within your learning content in various formats - such as videos, games, infographics, or transcripts - you’re enabling your learners to choose the medium that works best for them.

The use of visual aids, graphics, and games is widespread across many e-learning providers and it is a clear way of helping to embed the behavioural change needed, or the learning outcomes desired, in people who learn in vastly different ways.

If you would like to discuss accessibility within Virtual College’s courses or would like more information on how we can help support your accessibility within your own L&D objectives, please contact us at


Is Accessibility Part of Inclusion?

Accessibility is a concept that falls under the larger umbrella of inclusion. Inclusion refers to giving equal opportunities to everyone, regardless of their background, abilities, ethnicity, or otherwise. Accessibility is a smaller cog in the wheel that is inclusivity, and accessibility in the workplace in particular is an even more specific area helping everyone access workplaces regardless of their abilities. This is contributing towards creating an inclusive workplace environment. 

What is an Accessibility Strategy? 

An accessibility strategy refers to a plan an organisation has outlined to take strides towards making their workplace environment accessible to all. It will outline the principles involved in accessibility and the specific steps that need to be taken to improve the design and features of a workplace for those with disabilities to be able to access them more easily. 

Does Accessible Mean Disabled?

Accessibility and disability are intertwined in that those with disabilities require environments or opportunities to be made more accessible so that they are just as able to contribute to a task or engage in a conversation as much as anyone else. If something is labelled as accessible, this means that it has been designed or altered to be useable by those who are disabled. 


The advantages of accessibility in the workplace are profound and critical for the smooth running and success of your organisation as well as the well-being of your employees. As you work to improve accessibility in your workplace, you are taking huge strides towards fostering a workplace environment that promotes inclusion and diversity, and one that embraces all people regardless of their differences, which is the key to a thriving workplace. 

We hope that this article has offered you the insight that you need to understand the core advantages of accessibility in the workplace, as well as the importance of making all of your employee training resources accessible as you take the steps towards a more inclusive workplace.

For those who want to learn more about equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, and learn about the unconscious biases and discrimination that can act as barriers, we offer a user-friendly and interactive course to help you.