Continuing from yesterday’s post, here are four additional things that you and your organization should do when hiring individuals with disabilities.
1. Seek Out and Rely on the Right Resources
When hiring individuals with disabilities, know that there are many resources available for you to rely on and consult. Such resources can help you discover how and where to recruit talent, how to interview candidates, and how to retain talent. Here are a few of some of the more notable resources for you and your organization to consider:
- S. Department of Labor’s Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN)
- Workforce Recruitment Program
- Job Accommodation Network
- Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)
- LEAD Center
2. Know Legal Guidelines and Laws
As an employer, it’s important that you know your legal responsibilities as they’re laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act. You should be aware of certain discriminatory behaviors and acts that are illegal. And you should be prepared to make the appropriate accommodations for each employee who has a disability, which luckily is usually easy to do and not that expensive.
3. Promote Inclusion and Honest Communication Across Your Organization
The best way to ensure your newly hired employees with disabilities are welcomed and appreciated across your organization is to always promote inclusion across your organization. Make it clear that discrimination won’t be tolerated, and encourage a work environment where open dialogue is stimulated and occurs.
For instance, if your employees feel comfortable with it, you can have them introduce themselves and talk about their disabilities with their teammates and coworkers and give their coworkers a chance to ask respectful questions about how best to work with them and accommodate them. Or, you could send out communications on your organization’s policy regarding an all-inclusive and positive workplace.
4. Don’t Forget to Focus on Each Individual as an Individual
While you want to be careful not to single people out and make them feel like unwanted oddities, it is important that you treat individuals who have a disability (as well as those who don’t, for that matter) as the individuals they truly are.
Always remember the unique accommodations they need to do their job, and provide those. But instead of focusing on their limitations, try to focus more on what they do best and what they bring to your organization.
And don’t forget that they still need to have individual job requirements and expectations, just as any other employee does—they still crave and need constructive feedback on a regular basis to continue performing well while they’re on the job.
If your organization is considering hiring individuals with disabilities, keep the seven things outlined above and in yesterday’s post in mind.