CSR-D Guide. Corporate Social Responsibility and Disability
“CSR-D” is the general inclusion of the disability aspect in the different elements of companies’ CSR, considering people with disabilities among its stakeholders.
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Accessibility management must become part of the company’s daily management. There are 50 million people with disabilities in the European Union and one member out of every four families has a disability. Taking this fact into account, which company can afford to ignore this potential market?
People with disabilities and their families as clients, a market to be considered. The lack of accessibility in environments, products and services becomes a direct cause and a key factor of discrimination. There is no doubt about the key role of companies in this sense, but the complexity of a full accessibility commitment for a company's daily management is also evident.
Companies must consider full accessibility as an objective to be progressively reached.
We suggest that the company starts the process with a global assessment of its current accessibility level. This analysis will be the base to establishing an action plan with priorities, objectives and specific deadlines.
- Environment accessibility:
- Horizontal movement that is free of obstacles;
- Vertical movement as alternatives to stairs;
- Evacuation procedures adapted to people with disabilities;
- Signs that are easy to understand;
- Accessible web page;
- Appropriate terminology;
- Training courses for customer care staff to guarantee adequate treatment of people with disabilities are necessary;
- Communication shall be mainstreamed and shall be accessible.
It is not only about directly addressing messages to people with disabilities, but also about making clear to society in general (and to people with disabilities and their families in particular) that the company is thinking about them and sees them as part of society.
A good example would be a commercial showing a group of people (clients and/or employees) and one or several persons with disabilities as part of the group.