by Don Lewis at Ability Labs

woman filling job application form in office with boss
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on

 It’s no secret that people with disabilities face unique challenges when it comes to finding and maintaining employment. From a lack of accessibility to inflexible work schedules, there are several barriers that can prevent an individual with a disability from reaching their full potential in the workplace. However, there are some things employers can do to make their companies more attractive to potential employees with disabilities, such as by implementing certain structures, benefits, and incentives. Today, SLC6A1 Connect shares some considerations you should make when figuring out the best ways to diversify your talent pool.

Assess Your Recruitment Plan

 It is essential to review recruitment processes regularly to guarantee that all applicants are treated equitably and fairly. Evaluating your hiring process so everyone has an equal opportunity based on their abilities instead of any perceived limitations from a disability can lead to a greater success rate with differently-abled candidates over time. This ensures that no one is overlooked or disregarded due to the challenges they may face in life. When it’s time to create job listings or recruitment documents, go over the details carefully and have another member of your team go over it, as it always helps to have another set of eyes to catch mistakes. Candidate feedback is an invaluable tool in identifying deficiencies and opportunities for improvement in your recruitment practices. By understanding the candidate’s perspective, you can gain insights into areas that may not be working as well as they could be, and make necessary adjustments. To encourage participation in providing this feedback, consider using incentives such as gift cards. This not only shows appreciation for their time but also increases the likelihood of candid responses. To learn more about implementing gift card incentives, click here for more information.

Write an Engaging Job Description

 When writing job descriptions for positions open to new hires with disabilities, be sure to include language that highlights the company’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, as well as a clear overview of the position’s responsibilities and any benefits or rewards that come with it. This will help attract potential candidates who may not have considered applying for the position otherwise. Additionally, you should provide examples of how the job duties can be modified if needed to accommodate an employee’s disability or limitations. Be sure to continually review your job descriptions and update them often.

Create a Stellar Recruiting Document

 Creating a recruiting document detailing why differently-abled employees should work at your company can be an effective way of attracting potential candidates. Be sure to include information about available resources, such as reasonable accommodations in the workplace, remote work options, or flexible hours, as well as all the reasons that individuals with disabilities would enjoy working for your company. This document can be created as a PDF, which will make it easy to edit as your needs change. Alternatively, you can use a PDF file converter if you prefer to edit in a word processor. 

Make Your Website Accessible

 In order for differently-abled individuals to apply for jobs online, your website must be accessible by assistive devices such as screen readers or voice recognition software. These devices help individuals with vision impairments access all the information correctly. Making sure your website works well with these devices will help ensure that all applicants have equal access when applying for jobs at your company, whether they are disabled or not. It will also give applicants who are living with disabilities a positive first impression of your company by assuring them that you’re sensitive to their needs. You can also update your site with headings and subheadings, which make it easier for some assistive devices to read text.

Create a Safe and Inclusive Work Culture

 Creating a culture of inclusion is key to attracting new hires with disabilities. This means making sure everyone feels welcome, respected, and supported in the workplace regardless of any physical or mental limitations they may have. As the boss, encouraging open communication is crucial, as is making sure there are multiple methods employees can use to contact their supervisors or HR members.  Employers should also make sure they educate their staff on disability etiquette so everyone is aware of the appropriate language to use when interacting with differently-abled colleagues. Because this can change over time, it’s crucial to update your training materials often to ensure they include the correct language and terms.

Offer Career Planning Assistance

 Offering career planning opportunities such as mentorship programs or internships specifically designed for people with disabilities can also help attract new hires. These programs can provide valuable experience and help build confidence in those looking to enter the workforce for the first time or transition into a different career path due to their disability or limitation. You might also consider implementing a program that helps employees access training for different roles within the company, or creating a networking opportunity that allows team members to create beneficial connections with others. This is a great way to allow your employees to move up or try a new role that fits their needs better.

Budget For Workplace Accommodations

 It’s crucial that you figure out a budget for reasonable accommodations in the workplace, such as wheelchair ramps, lifts, hearing loops, amplifiers, screen readers, and accessible bathrooms. Making these accommodations available helps create an inclusive environment where all employees feel comfortable and welcome regardless of any physical or mental limitations they may have, which could ultimately lead to higher retention rates among differently-abled employees within your organization over time.  Take a look online at a few of the most commonly used accessibility tools in the workplace, as well as the local laws that apply to businesses that employ a certain number of people. Get an idea of how much workplace modifications will cost, and consult a contractor when you need to make updates to your office or store. Read reviews of a few different contracting services before hiring. People with disabilities often face unique challenges when it comes to finding employment, but there are many ways employers can make their companies more attractive to potential hires with disabilities. By creating an inclusive culture with open communication, writing a compelling and effective job description, and making sure your website works well with assistive devices, you can take major steps toward creating a safe and pleasant workplace for individuals with disabilities. You can also consider offering career planning opportunities so that everyone has equal access to networking, mentoring, and new positions. When you’re ready to create a compelling recruitment document, using a PDF editor will make the process much easier. Visit SLC6A1 Connect to learn more about our patient advocacy group dedicated to improving the lives of children and families affected by SLC6A1.

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