Companies looking for employees from new sources can hire from a population that is usually underemployed or overlooked by employers. One option these companies have is appointing differently abled individuals or people with disabilities.
According to a recent survey conducted by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), there’s an employment gap of almost 30% between disabled people and individuals without any disability. The survey was conducted only on people with the ability of joining the workforce.
To change the job scenario for disabled people, a law called Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. According to ADA, a company with 15+ employees must offer reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities. The term “reasonable accommodation” refers to any alteration made in the company environment for allowing a disabled person to enjoy the same employment opportunities as individuals without any disability.
A company can be exempted from this ADA requirement, only if providing reasonable accommodation to disabled individuals exposes it to undue hardship.
Here are some ADA regulations a company must comply with when hiring differently abled employees.
- It must provide disabled people with equal opportunities for applying for jobs and working in positions they are qualified for.
- After hiring disabled employees, an employer must provide them with equal opportunities for being promoted.
- A differently abled employee should have access to all the privileges and benefits of employment that other employees enjoy, for instance, training organized by the employer, health insurance provided by the employer etc.
- Employers must make sure that any disabled employee working for them is not harassed due to their disability.
The tips below will facilitate the process of hiring disabled employees for businesses.
Assess the nature of the business: An employer with plans of offering employment opportunities to differently abled people must assess the nature of the business he or she owns and find out how a disabled employee can be accommodated. To ensure that the entire recruitment process is conducted following the ADA regulations, companies should seek advice from attorneys.
Consult experts: Consulting experts is essential for comprehending the process of creating a suitable workplace for disabled people. One can contact the Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization SourceAmerica, which is known for helping businesses in creating job opportunities for disabled people, to know how to create a welcoming workplace for individuals with disabilities.
Additionally, employers looking to hire disabled people can also get resources from the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN). An organization called Hire Heroes, on the other hand, helps military veterans with disabilities to find suitable jobs.
Know the challenges: Employers often fail to understand that disabilities are not always visible or physical in nature and commit the mistake of preparing only for accommodating people with physical disabilities. For creating a comfortable working environment for people with all kinds of disabilities, employers must also find out ways to deal with individuals with invisible disabilities like attention deficit.
A company with plans of hiring differently abled employees should teach other members of staff how not to act when surrounded by disabled individuals. For example, it is the duty of the employer to inform its staff that one should not speak loudly to a blind person or use someone’s wheelchair as a support. Following these tips should ensure that appropriate systems are in place to ensure a mutually beneficial work atmosphere.