Are you looking for a new source of talent? By recruiting and accommodating disabled individuals, you gain a diverse workforce and an infusion of enthusiastic new employees with abilities waiting to be tapped.
How to begin
Work with the special education program of local high schools or universities to create an internship program that provides on-the-job training with the goal of future employment. Such a program helps prospective workers gain sustainable work skills.
Meet regularly to discuss job openings with agencies that serve workers who have disabilities. Don’t limit your expectations or your thinking. Jobs can vary widely according to the candidate’s ability. You are just as likely to uncover a gifted computer technician, as you are to find a maintenance worker.
Make diversity a corporate goal, with a stated focus in your mission statement.
It is important for seniorto lead the charge and encourage human resources to seek out workers with disabilities.
Assess your workplace to identify any physical obstacles that may exist for employees with disabilities. Is your building in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act? What accommodation and resources do you currently have on-site? What can you easily adapt (e.g., ramps, railings)?
Seek team members who are willing to ease new employees with disabilities into the workplace.
Conduct training for employees and offer educational programs to develop awareness of the issues that people living with disabilities encounter.
On the financial side, businesses that hire people with disabilities may be eligible for state and federal tax credits.
To learn more about hiring practices, legal obligations, work-site accommodations and various tax credits from the federal government, visit sba.gov.
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