A recent study shows that nearly one in eight U.S. citizens have some form of disability. Like anyone else living in the U.S., these individuals are afforded the right to work and should be given extensive opportunities to do so. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has enabled more people with disabilities to join the workforce than ever before.
Making an effort to hire workers with disabilities can have a major impact on your organization. In fact, organizations that incorporate candidates with disabilities have experienced 28% higher revenue and 2-times higher net incomes, according to an Accenture white paper.
The key to adding workers with disabilities is accessibility. While this may seem pricey, it really isn’t. Studies show that 56% of accommodations have no associated costs; 37% have a one-time cost of $500 or less; and 4% result in ongoing expenses on an annual basis.
Here are a few tips to make your workplace more accessible for employees with disabilities.
If you are committed to hiring more people with disabilities, it is imperative that you make your intentions known.
To begin, conduct targeted outreach to community partners in an effort to attract qualified candidates with disabilities. You can get assistance by reaching out to vocational rehabilitation facilities, employment networks, American Job Centers, and Centers for Independent Living.
If you are creating job postings online, be sure to make your posts accessible for the hearing and visually disabled.
Before extending a job offer to an individual with a disability, you must plan to provide a designated interviewing area that is accessible for all candidates. You cannot ask someone what disabilities they have during an interview, so it should be common practice to have a meeting place that is accessible to everyone.
However, if someone does inform you about a disability, such as mobility impairments, hearing loss, or weakened eyesight, you should accommodate them accordingly.
It is also important that you inform applicants about the interview process to give them time to request accommodations if needed.
When anyone accepts a job offer from your organization, they should expect a properly planned onboarding process.
The objective of your onboarding should not change with employees who have a disability. However, you can tailor it to them by including disability-specific information, like accommodation procedures, and making orientation materials accessible for their disability.
Your onboarding process sets the standard for what an employee’s tenure could be with your company. Only 12% of employees said their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees.
No worker wants to be stuck in the same position for their entire career, and there’s no exception for workers with disabilities.
According to a study conducted by Cornell University and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), employers with internship programs for people with disabilities were 4.5-times more likely to hire a person with a disability compared to an organization without a program.
Furthermore, tailoring mentorship and professional development programs to your employees with disabilities gives you the opportunity to learn from them—how can you better assist them, what are their strengths, and how can you prepare them for success?
Work with a PEO
Seeking the help of a professional employer organization (PEO) can have an incredible impact on your business. As experts in human resources, PEOs, like VensureHR, can provide you with resources that will make the recruiting process seamless.