Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion

Disability Employment Inclusivity Month: Improving Accessibility in the Accounting Industry

Improving inclusivity in accounting industry for disabled people

As October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), there’s no better time to focus on improving accessibility in the accounting industry. The U.S Department of Labor set aside October as NDEAM to recognize the skills of workers with disabilities who contribute to the country’s workplaces and economy. It’s also a great time to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities to succeed in accounting, or any field of their choosing.

Creating a workplace that benefits everyone

The accounting profession is recognized for inclusive values and is one of the leaders in welcoming disabled people, according to The Accounting Journal.1 Accounting firms that are unable to attract and retain professionals with disabilities are missing opportunities for growth and talent.

Why accommodating all abilities is a must

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 61 million adults in the U.S.—or more than one in every four adults — live with a disability2, whether it’s related to mobility, sight, hearing, a cognitive disability or another area. Fortunately, as tools advance and more employers offer remote work options, the number of individuals with disabilities who are finding employment opportunities is increasing. In fact, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies that are helping to reduce employment barriers, in 2023 alone, it is projected that the number of individuals with disabilities who obtain employment should triple, according to Gartner’s Strategic Predictions.3,4

How can your firm welcome and support employees with disabilities?

Here are a few practical suggestions to make a positive difference in the lives of all team members and your business, as a whole:

Recruiting and hiring tips

  • Make disability employment part of your recruitment policy as well as your organization’s philosophy and vision.5 
  • Provide multiple ways for candidates to apply and interview, including online, in-person or by phone.1 
  • Ensure those hiring have training on anti-discrimination policies and disability inclusion.5

Productivity and accommodating work spaces tips

  • Conduct a workplace safety audit. Accounting is not a professional that is physically demanding (ie: lifting, spending long periods of time walking or standing, or operating heavy machinery) but it’s important to consider physical accessibility in the office. For example, are there areas that need ramps in addition to steps? Is there space between workstations for a wheelchair or crutches?
  • Consider what tools can help an employee increase productivity. Most accounting practices make frequent upgrades, such as glare-proof screens, ergonomic desks or multiple computer monitors to improve the work environment for employees. Follow the same practices to accommodate disabilities as part of your firm’s regular improvements. 
  • Use technology to create an accessible environment. Optimize opportunities to use artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to help employees with disabilities.3 Simple solutions like a larger computer screen and voice-to-text software could assist someone with impaired sight, while hearing-impaired employees may benefit from increased opportunities to communicate through email or text.5 
  • Build upgrades into your budget. Some state agencies may help with the costs for accommodations or special training for employees with disabilities, such as adaptive technology for an employee who is blind.6 Firms hiring people with disabilities may also be eligible for federal tax incentives,6 which could offset the costs of special improvements.

Adapt remote work policies.

Emerging technologies can keep home-based workers in accounting connected and involved and can let accountants with disabilities work in a familiar home environment, making the job more accessible. Like many professions, accounting has seen a significant increase in remote work in the last two years and 79% of accountants favor a hybrid home-office work environment, according to The Accounting Journal.1

Prepare team members

  • Create and encourage an inclusive culture. The office culture is as important as the physical environment. Training, mentoring and opportunities to establish regular connections with other employees can help all employees succeed in your firm. 
  • Emphasize sensitivity and common-sense etiquette. Encourage open discussion and learning about all areas of diversity and inclusiveness. Remind co-workers that colleagues with a disability will ask if or when they need assistance, just as anyone else would.

Let the opportunities abound

Helping to create an accessible and inclusive workplace will allow your firm to benefit from the skills, talents and perspectives of a diverse group of employees and improve the quality of the accounting profession as a whole. 

For more information about diversity, equity and inclusion in your workplace, visit Becker’s DEBI-focused CPE certification programs. If you're new to our continued professional education, be sure to get your free CPE course!


1. The Accounting Journal. (2021, October 11). Embracing abilities over disabilities into accountancy industry. https://theaccountingjournal.com/advancing-equity/embracing-abilities-over-disabilities-into-accountancy-industry/.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, September 9). Disability impacts all of us. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/infographic-disability-impacts-all.html. 

3. Rush, D. (2021, July 21). Creating a more accessible and inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. Forbes Business Council. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/07/21/creating-a-more-accessible-and-inclusive-workplace-for-people-with-disabilities/?sh=3e0504e32d90. 

4. Panetta, K. (2019, October 22). Gartner top strategic predictions for 2020 and beyond. Gartner. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-top-strategic-predictions-for-2020-and-beyond. 

5. Samra, S. (2020, October 15). 8 inclusive hiring tips to support disability inclusion in the workplace. Recruitee. https://recruitee.com/blog/disability-inclusion-in-the-workplace. 6. Society for Human Resource Management. (n.d.). Developing an accessible workplace. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/developinganaccessibleworkplace.aspx.

Now Leaving Becker.com

You are leaving the Becker.com website. Once you click “continue,” you will be brought to a third-party website. Please be aware, the privacy policy may differ on the third-party website. Adtalem Global Education is not responsible for the security, contents and accuracy of any information provided on the third-party website. Note that the website may still be a third-party website even the format is similar to the Becker.com website.