A roadmap to inclusive leadership: workplace accessibility (key no3)

Denis Boudreau
11 min readNov 24, 2023
Focused business team with laptop discussing project.
Photo Credit — Canva

Welcome back to our deep dive into the keys to inclusive leadership. In this third installment, we’re zooming in on a topic often misunderstood: workplace accessibility. It’s a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? If what comes to mind is just about adding a ramp here or an elevator there, then you’re missing a big chunk of the story, as accessibility is the backbone of an inclusive work environment, one where everyone gets to function at their peak, regardless of their individual challenges or needs.

To flesh out this third key, we’ll reintroduce three remarkable individuals you’ve met before if you’re a regular in these parts. Each one dealing with different challenges that make the average workplace an obstacle course for them. First, Izumi who navigates through the day with dyslexia. Then, Uma who communicates in a world not built for the deaf. And finally, Lizzy who manages a vestibular disorder in an office that’s often too busy and disorienting.

By sharing their journeys, we’ll shed light on what accessibility should look like in practice and how leaders like yourselves can step up their game to make it a reality. Are you ready to rethink your understanding of accessibility and be the leader your team deserves?

Let’s jump right into it.

Accessibility misconceptions

Let’s kick things off by busting some myths! Many leaders still think that workplace accessibility is a simple box to tick. Something that requires a few physical changes and “voilà,” your workplace is inclusive! But that would be like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

In fact, accessibility is an ongoing commitment. One that requires thoughtful consideration of various needs. It’s not just about making a building wheelchair-friendly! It’s about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, is offered the ability to work efficiently and comfortably. That means looking at everything from digital platforms to communication styles to everything in between. When you get accessibility right, it becomes this silent supporter, quietly removing obstacles out of people’s way so they can shine and thrive.

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Denis Boudreau

Helping leaders connect with the missing piece in their DEI efforts. Amazon BestSelling Author “The Inclusive Speaker". Speaker/Trainer/Coach. #neurodivergent