Today more than ever, businesses need people with a demonstrated ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances. And perhaps more than any other group, people with disabilities possess precisely these attributes. On a daily basis, people with disabilities must think creatively about how to solve problems and accomplish tasks. In the workplace, this resourcefulness translates into innovative thinking, fresh ideas and varied approaches to confronting business challenges and achieving success. What's more, research shows that consumers both with and without disabilities favor businesses that employ people with disabilities. But while research shows that a workplace inclusive of people with disabilities is good for business, not all employers know how to effectively recruit, retain and advance such individuals. The following resources can help:
Inclusion@Work Framework — An internationally award winning multimedia policy tool that outlines seven core components of a disability-inclusive workplace, along with a menu of strategies for achieving them.
- Inclusion@Work Rack Card [PDF]
Inclusive Internship Programs: A How-to Guide for Employers [PDF] — This guide is designed for public and private employers of all sizes to learn about the benefits and logistics of facilitating internship programs that attract all young adults, including those with disabilities.
Workforce Recruitment Program — A recruitment and referral program that connects Federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
Federal Agency Employment Strategies: A Framework for Disability Inclusion [PDF] — Identifies promising, and emerging employment strategies and practices for recruiting, hiring, advancing, and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities.
Building an Inclusive Workforce [PDF] — A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Employees with Disabilities.
Campaign for Disability Employment — ODEP-funded collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace and implement flexible and inclusive workplace practices.
TalentWorks — An online resource that helps employers and human resources (HR) professionals make their eRecruiting technologies accessible to all job seekers, including those with disabilities.
What Apprenticeship Employers Need To Know About Working with Young Adults with Disabilities [PDF] — Describes the type of basic information about people with disabilities that apprenticeship employers should know, including information about their legal responsibilities to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
A Review of Community College-Employer Partnerships and Initiatives: Expanding Opportunities for Job Seekers with Disabilities [PDF] — This report from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) examines the importance of ensuring that community college training and education meet the needs of employers in ways that help students and job seekers get and keep good jobs. The report also reviews some of the recent Federal, national, and local efforts to support partnerships with employers.
Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) — ODEP-funded service that helps employers recruit, hire, retain and advance workers with disabilities. Includes information on finding job candidates with disabilities and creating inclusive workplaces.
EARN Employer Financial Incentives Webpage — This webpage explains the various financial incentives available to assist employers in capitalizing on the value and talent people with disabilities bring to the workplace. These incentives encourage the hiring of individuals with disabilities and support modifications and accommodations that enhance workplace accessibility and productivity. Learn about Federal and State tax incentives, veteran-specific incentives, incentives for implementing Return-to-Work/Stay-at-Work programs, and more.
2014 National Study of Employers: Including the Talents of Employees with Disabilities [PDF] — This report from the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) includes recommendations for employers interested in improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Encouraging Employees with Disabilities to Self-Identify [PDF] — This resource from EARN explores strategies for encouraging disability disclosure in the workplace.
Medical- and Disability-Related Leave Advisor — This elaws Advisor helps employers and employees understand leave employees may be entitled to take for purposes of managing medical conditions and disabilities.
EARN's Mental Health Toolkit: Resources for Fostering a Mentally Healthy Workplace — This toolkit from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) provides background, tools and resources that can help employers learn more about mental health issues and cultivate a welcoming and supportive work environment for employees who may be facing mental health issues. It also presents an easy-to-follow framework for fostering a mental health-friendly workplace, all built around the "4 A's": Awareness, Accommodations, Assistance and Access.
- Palm Card — This card illustrates the "4 A's" from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network's Mental Health Toolkit
ODEP Mental Health Topic Page — Information and resources on mental health in the workplace.
Employee Resource Group (ERG) Toolkit [PDF] — This toolkit from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) outlines twelve steps on how to start, implement, and maintain Disability ERGs.
Fostering Disability-Inclusive Workplaces Through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) [PDF] — ERGs are considered a best practice that businesses can use to foster a culture of inclusion. This fact sheet from EARN explores how ERGs can benefit employees and employers alike.
Professional Development and Advancement of Employees with Disabilities [PDF] — This guide from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) provides information on workforce trends and common workplace barriers to career advancement of people with disabilities, along with recommendations for fully incorporating employees with disabilities into career development and advancement programs.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN) — ODEP-funded service that provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and other disability employment issues.
JAN's Workplace Accommodation Toolkit — Online toolkit provides guidance related to the reasonable accommodation process and creating disability-inclusive workplaces. The toolkit includes sample accommodation procedures, examples of policies and forms from leading U.S. businesses, training presentations, videos, checklists, and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. The toolkit also provides inclusive practices at various phases of the employment life cycle for recruiters, hiring managers, and supervisors; human resource professionals; accommodation consultants; and allies of employees with disabilities.
Stay at Work/Return to Work
Stay at Work/Return to Work Resources — ODEP's Stay at Work/Return to Work activities and publications.
Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work: Supporting Employees Who Experience Unexpected Illness or Disability [PDF] — This fact sheet, co-authored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and Office of Disability Employment Policy, informs employers about resources available to help employees who have sustained disabilities or chronic illness to return to work or stay at work.
Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success — A web-based toolkit that provides practical guidance for small businesses on how to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities, and describes approaches that business associations can use to educate their members about the value disability diversity adds to their workplaces.
Start with JAN: Resources for Small Business [PDF] — A fact sheet with resources for small businesses from the Job Accommodation Network.
Employer Financial Incentives for Hiring People with Disabilities — This webpage from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) explains financial incentives, including tax credits, offered by the Federal Government, as well as state governments, that help employers capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities offer America's workplaces.