Potential and Current Employers

If your company has already hired or is considering hiring someone or a group of people with disabilities, we applaud your initiative tapping into this pool of potential employees. We've compiled excellent resources that you and your team can read to help assist you in the hiring process as well as to help ensure a long-term employment success story.  If you are only going to read one thing, please look at the Disability Inclusion – Guide to Success, which was created by P & G.  If you would like to have a discussion about some next steps in the hiring process, feel free to fill out the “Ready to Hire” form and we will follow up with you.

Lindsey Allen with her co-worker.

NDSS Ready To Work Guide

This guide is intended to educate employers on hiring people with Down syndrome by highlighting benefits, suggesting tips for success, identifying some challenges, sharing success stories and providing resources. We support NDSS’ #DSWORKS™ Campaign.

View NDSS Ready to Work Guide

Institute for Corporate Productivity Report

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) comprise an underutilized population of potential employees proven to be a positive influence on co-workers, customers, the community and a company's bottom line. Through survery data, case studies and individual success stories, this report demonstrates how workers with IDD provide both talent and productivity.

View Institute for Corporate Productivity Report

Steps to Success from ODEP
Office of Disability Employment Policy

Smart employers everywhere are learning that businesses inclusive of people with disabilities benefit from a wider pool of talent, skills and creative business solutions.  They're also recognizing disability diversity as an important way to tap into a growing market, since people with disabilities represent the third largest market segment in the U.S. So by proactively employing individuals with disabilities, businesses can gain a better understanding of how to meet the needs of this important and expanding customer base.

What does it mean to be disability-inclusive?

There are numerous characteristics associated with disability-friendly companies, and what’s often surprising to employers is that most inclusion practices geared toward employees and job seekers with disabilities have the added bonus of benefiting everyone.  Some exemplary practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

LEADERSHIP: Ensuring a commitment to disability inclusion at all levels of your organization—including the C-Suite.
TRACKING AND MEASURING: Adopting written policies, practices and procedures to enhance employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities, and measuring the effectiveness of those policies.
OPENNESS: Establishing personnel processes and job descriptions that facilitate the hiring and advancement of qualified persons with disabilities, and promoting a culture where employees with disabilities feel comfortable asking for the workplace supports they need.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Giving all employees the tools they need to do their job effectively, whether that means assistive technology, a flexible schedule, or numerous other reasonable accommodations or productivity enhancements.
OUTREACH AND RECRUITMENT: Building a pipeline of qualified applicants with disabilities by developing relationships with a variety of recruitment sources.
COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION: Expressing your commitment to disability inclusion both internally and externally, and providing training on disability-related workplace issues to staff.
ACCESSIBILITY: Ensuring your workplace is accessible, physically and virtually.  That means a barrier-free workplace powered by accessible, universally designed technology, as well as websites and online job applications that are accessible to everyone.  It also means fostering attitudinal accessibility through employee education and awareness. 

Where can I find qualified job candidates with disabilities?

Employers often tell us that one of the greatest barriers they face regarding the hiring of individuals with disabilities is the inability to find qualified candidates.  That’s where outreach and recruitment strategies come in—from community partnerships to offering internships to youth with disabilities.  Building relationships with disability and workforce development service providers, such as vocational rehabilitation agencies, American Job Centers, centers for independent living and other community-based organizations is a key strategy in this regard.  

In many cases, such service providers can connect businesses to job seekers with disabilities directly or provide access to candidate databases.  With a strong local focus, they can also assist in identifying and training individuals for specific workforce needs. To see a list of local agencies that can assist you in the recruitment process, please click here.

Small Business and Disability Employment: Steps to Success

If you’re looking for ways to develop a disability-inclusive business, check out the www.AskEARN.org website that provides practical guidance for small businesses on how to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities.  EARN stands for Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion.  They provide a centralized hub of employer-focused tools, resources, webinars and publications on disability inclusion.  Organized by practice area, EARN features disability employment success stories of actual small businesses across the country, as well as links to relevant tools and resources. The exemplary practices explored include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Recruitment and Hiring
- Supervision and Management
- Inclusive Workplaces
- Disability Laws
- Employer Case Studies

Recruitment and Retention Resources
ODEP offers a number of free resources to help employers and Human Resource professionals invest in inclusion. You can download or order them at promotions.usa.gov/odep.html.

Stay In The Loop with ODEP
Click Here to subscribe to the ODEP weekly e-newsletter (ODEP News Brief) or monthly e-newsletter (Business Sense).

Key National Resources

Looking for more guidance on building and strengthening your disability inclusion efforts?  Check out these free tools and resources:

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
The leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.  JAN’s trusted consultants are available to answer your questions via phone, email or live chat.  AskJAN.org  800.526.7234 or 877.781.9403 (TTY)

Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT)
An online portal that shows you why it pays to build and buy accessible workplace technology and how to go about doing so.  Access PEAT’s TalentWorks tool to ensure that your online job applications and other recruiting tools are accessible to job seekers with disabilities.  PEATworks.org

Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE)
The powerful media campaign that’s changing attitudes about disability and employment. View and share the CDE’s award-winning public service announcements, posters, discussion guides and other products.  WhatCanYouDoCampaign.org  

Internships/Youth Resources
Internships can be an effective strategy for achieving disability diversity.  Check out these resources that can help you build an inclusive intern program, find qualified interns with disabilities, and educate young employees on workforce readiness skills.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act Resources
Employers who are federal contractors covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act may also want to consult the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Section 503 resource webpage  dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/Resources.htm, which provides a wealth of information and tools to assist covered employers in achieving their goals under the law.