For modern employers, there are a number of benefits to embracing diversity and expanding your workforce to include individuals with disabilities. Doing so can give you access to high levels of talent, improve team morale, and set an example for the rest of your industry – here are a few tips presented by Goodin Abernathy LLP` to get you started.
Before you start searching for your next hire, it’s important to cultivate a workplace culture in which differently-abled individuals can feel comfortable. Start by shaping the attitudes and behaviors of your existing staff – to help with this, you can use diversity seminars or even subscribe to one of the various online courses designed to educate workplaces on tolerance.
You could also look to improve your bureaucratic infrastructure by adjusting your company code of ethics and logistical expectations (such as providing more work-from-home days) and looking at where exceptions can be made to ordinary protocols. If in doubt, pay close attention to other companies and see how they’ve shaped policies to improve the inclusivity and consideration of all their team members.
Depending on an individual’s disability, they may not be able to engage with your company on a digital basis if they are not properly accommodated. Consider your website, for example. This can be easily adjusted for improved accessibility, thereby functioning as an advert for differently-abled talent. Start by introducing assistive measures such as the option to enlarge font sizes, use ARIAs (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), and access keyboard shortcuts. Or you could even try adopting assistive technology with speech recognition functions.
Mobility may be an issue for someone with a disability if the workspace is not built for the purpose. Fortunately, it’s straightforward to accommodate most individuals with a few remodels – these can include ramps, height-adjustable desks, specialized seating, grab handles, accessible washrooms, and more. Most of these should be claimable as ADA incentives, available to small businesses of any industry with yearly revenues under $1,000,000.
If you haven’t worked with individuals with disabilities, it may be a good idea to bring in expert help – local or national organizations are often keen to lend their expertise or even oversee your recruiting drive. Failing this, it’s important to get to grips with inclusive language/protocols and to treat each candidate with respect and as an individual.
When you’re looking to incentivize young or graduate applicants, it can pay off to develop an internship program, giving exclusive opportunities to individuals with disabilities. This can be an excellent method for incubating new talent – just be sure to convene with an internship coordinator first and understand which policies will work best for the interns and your company.
As with any effort to recruit new talent, it’s crucial that you build airtight practices making the process as smooth and simple as possible. Start with your file types – PDFs can be read on most devices, and you can disperse these online or internally easily. An online drag-and-drop file converter can help with this.
You should also make sure that, when recruiting new staff, your business is established with the state so that you can maintain tax compliance and obtain a valid EIN. The IRS will use this for payroll taxes, and it will become necessary when it comes time to offer your employees retirement plans.
The best talent is usually the hardest to attract. If you want to appeal to clever, capable individuals with disabilities, you’ll have to show them that your company is willing to understand their requirements and take measures to accommodate them. With a few small adjustments, you can often see a big difference.
Disabilities and Discrimination
Laws for protecting individuals with disabilities from discrimination have been in place for many years, but the fight for fair and effective employment practices has only recently gained traction. Employers are now increasingly recognizing their responsibility to make reasonable accommodations that enable disabled employees to participate in the workforce. Disabilities not only should be acknowledged but also embraced, as recruiting and adequately accommodating these individuals can provide businesses with an incredibly diverse and talented pool of employees who bring specialized skillsets to the table.
As a result, businesses are encouraged to be proactive when it comes to creating job opportunities for people with disabilities and implementing changes that create a more comprehensive work environment. It is only through these proactive measures that employers can ensure equal opportunity and so foster a truly inclusive workplace culture.This includes enacting anti-discrimination laws which prevent employers from discriminating against potential employees on the basis of disability or medical condition.
Modern employment law has created unprecedented levels of opportunities for individuals with disabilities, allowing them to play a meaningful role in our workforce while having their rights as workers legally protected.
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