2 Power Strategies to Boost Daily Energy

In the era of busy bragging, scheduling rest stops can feel more like a detour. We convince ourselves that we simply do not have the disposable time available to focus on our health.

All Posts

How to Include Disabled Employees in Wellness Activities

Nearly one in five adult Americans has some kind of disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau — which means your workplace likely has a percentage of employees with physical, mental, or sensory limitations. And since more workers are retiring later, you should expect an increase in employees on the job with age-related disabilities. These employees may be eager to participate in your wellness program, but don’t know if there’s a place for them.

“Including people with disabilities in these activities begins with identifying and eliminating barriers to their participation,” says the Centers for Disease Control. To design an inclusive wellness program, the first step is to assess workplace readiness. For example, check to see if any disabled employees are taking part in wellness steering or planning committees. This short PDF worksheet from Work Well NC offers ideas for taking a high-level look at your current wellness program.

Communication can also be a barrier to participation. If wellness content is only available in printed form (like online or through workplace posters) or through meetings, employees with vision disabilities might need larger-print content — or employees with hearing disabilities might need a recording. The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) has a handy Health Communications Scorecard to help determine the inclusivity of your outreach regarding wellness.

Making small changes to the ways you talk about your wellness activities can have big impact for disabled employees. For example, doing a 5K run may sound daunting to employees with mobility challenges. But a 5K “roll, walk, run” event tells employees that everyone is welcome, including wheelchair users.

Once you’ve refined your communications, you can create accommodations for specific activities. The Impact newsletter, which offers practical information on helping people with disabilities, has several useful examples on adapting wellness programs to include disabled employees. For example, when an employee with cerebral palsy had trouble using a company-provided pedometer to track his steps in a walking program due to poor motor skills, his employer found a pedometer with large buttons.

By adapting wellness programs to meet employee needs, you may find that you open the door to well-being for a broader group of employees, like those with short-term injuries or chronic health conditions. The first episode of our new Grokker podcast, GrokTalk, offers ideas on addressing movement limitations when exercising, such as gentle tai chi movements that don’t put stress on the body. Listen below!



Britteny Salvador
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Britteny Salvador
challenge theme bank.png

Featured Download: Challenge Theme Bank

50 unique, proven challenge theme ideas you can use year round

Get Your Copy
Recent Posts

2 Power Strategies to Boost Daily Energy

In the era of busy bragging, scheduling rest stops can feel more like a detour. We convince ourselves that we simply do not have the disposable time a...

Read more

Ask the Experts: Find Your Five

At Grokker, we know that achieving big goals starts with making small habit changes.   That’s why we love the Find Your Five challenge. Take just five...

Read more

The Secret Sauce to Wellness Program Success

In our latest webinar, Dr. Ron Goetzel shared his “secret sauce” to achieve wellness program ROI. In this post, I’ll discuss how to implement five of ...

Read more

5 Wellness Challenge Fails – and How to Avoid Them

We launch wellness challenges with high hopes that employees will become engaged and participate. Unfortunately, the way wellness challenges are desig...

Read more