Workforce diversity provides measurable benefits for an organization. It improves employee morale, increases productivity, and promotes a positive company image. But diversity isn’t just about employing people of different backgrounds and gender. Hiring people with disabilities can also offer a number of important advantages.
Of course, the first step toward attracting qualified employees with disabilities is to create a workplace that offers support and encouragement, and allows them to feel included and productive.(1)
Here are three key steps to help promote an inclusive office culture:
Evaluate Your Recruiting Strategies.
College career fairs and recruiters might not be able to refer a top candidate with disabilities. Instead, reach out to a university’s disability services department, or an organization known for advocating for people with disabilities.
Determine Your Company’s Readiness.
A company striving to attract people with disabilities needs to ensure the message is reinforced with actions. For example, information posted on the company website, especially employment information, needs to conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which allow content to be received in different ways without losing its meaning.
Invest in Training.
Many Americans continue to be uncomfortable with the idea of interacting with people with disabilities.(2) Part of their discomfort stems from a lack of knowledge, and the fear of offending the person by saying the wrong thing. iDisability™, a revolutionary e-learning solution, was specifically designed to educate and ease concern within the workplace. We currently offer a catalog of approximately 9 hours of critical disability employment topics, providing the foundation to engage, accommodate, and communicate with people with disabilities in the workforce. To schedule a demonstration, complete the contact form.
Organizations reluctant to aggressively recruit within the disability community are missing out on a pool of talented and innovative employees. Following these three steps, can go a long way in successfully assembling a truly diverse team.
(1) http://www.apa.org/pi/disability/resources/publications/enhancing.aspx (2) http://uiaccess.com/accessucd/interact.html