Strategy for hiring The Disabled
Strategy for hiring The Disabled
Given a chance would you hire
Albert Einstein as your scientist or maybe consider FDR, Beethoven, or Thomas
Edison? These and are several of the famous people who had some form of disability
ADA-Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990- is a civil rights law which prohibits, under certain
circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against
discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act.
Disability is defined as “a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits a major life activity.”
According to the U.S. Census, people with disabilities comprise the
largest minority group, approximately 20 percent of the population
Everyone agrees that the Economy
is bad, so it stands to question, why is the unemployment rate (15 percent )
among disabled workers almost double that of the non disabled population? Especially
considering that disabled workers have one of the highest retention rates of 85
DiversityInc recently published a
list of the Top Companies for people with Disabilities. The list may not be
perfect; The companies are doing all they could (I am sure they are trying) and
it’s especially hard committing to programs during these hard economic time
which is why it’s more important not to lose focus.
Disability inclusion is not about
being compliant or avoiding a law suit. It is about maintaining a competitive
advantage. It’s about becoming the employer of choice. It’s about sending the right message to your
employees and your customers. It’s about enhancing your organization to access
Many believe that there’s a
shortage of talent and with a large workforce pending to retire in coming
years. The Gen Y are coming to the market. They are well versed with ADA. They will not
tolerate discrimination and would expect the same of level of understanding
they got in their schools, community and college.
It’s very important to know that there are different types
of disabilities. Physical Disabilities like Cerebral Palsy or Cystic fibrosis, Acquired
Disabilities like AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis and Developmental Disabilities like
Dyslexia, ADD or
Learning Disability which are very common.
According to the United States Social Security
office almost 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before
reaching age 67.
Hiring disabled employees may
qualify your business for additional tax benefits such as: deduction for costs
of removing barriers to the disabled and elderly; disabled access credit and
work opportunity tax credit financial programs.
IT’S ABOUT ABILITY.
The statistics and numerous surveys
demonstrate that Disabled workers have one of the highest retention rates and
the lowest turnover therefore ultimately costing companies less to provide a
Companies also gain in – Increased
employee productivity and organizational performance through a more diversified
employee base; Tax benefits; Lower economic costs because of lower absenteeism;
decreased employee turnover, and better-than-average safety records
So what should be your strategy
for hiring Disabled workers?
(1) Establish Affinity Groups – resources
to raise and share voice which will change the misinformation and attitudes of
your staff. Educate everyone.
(2) Plan – look at your current
diversity plan. Does it focus on specific programs for tapping or reaching out
(3) It has to be a Top down
approach. Not only the leadership and management should be actively involved in
the efforts but should make it mandatory
(4) Involve people who are
disabled. The best ideas would come from them. For example while creating a new
software design or product design which might appeal to someone who is blind
(voice recognition) or deaf or hard of hearing.
(5) Have an effective PR campaign
in creating awareness. It should be an issue of the entire organization. It’s
just not about legality. Is your career page friendly for disable.. Does it show only people who are multi race or
is there a picture of a disabled person. (How about someone in a wheelchair?).
(6) Get your mentorship or
internship process involved for disability.
(7) Select and external/national/local
disability partner to implement programs, events, workshop etc.
(8) Portray your company as one
that values the contribution of individuals with disabilities. Disability
inclusion should be in your Organization’s Value Proposition
(9) Budgeting for the inclusion of
people with disabilities should be a part of the overall budget. It should be a
centralized resource. Everyone knows the cost of hiring a Foreign worker (H1 B
costs $3000 Plus Green Card another $5000). The Average Cost for Employers to
Accommodate Persons with Disabilities is less than $500 for more than 60% of
People with Disabilities
(10) Create networks (social
/professional) internally and externally just for disability candidate pipelines.
Do Targeted recruiting
Employers who hire people with
disabilities create a positive corporate image. Hiring people with disabilities
is not charity. But bringing them into the organization is an exemplary act
that models corporate responsibility. It’s about ABILITY and its time you start doing something about it.
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