Resources for Overcoming Barriers to Recruitment [2.2.2.c1b3]
There are many resources for the employer who is considering recruiting or hiring people with disabilities. Some of the main resources are included below.
Office of Disability Employment Policy
The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
seeks to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The agency builds partnerships with employers and state and local agencies to increase awareness of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and to facilitate the use of effective strategies.
ODEP created the Web site, Disability.Gov
, to provide information from 22 federal agencies on disability-related programs and services. The site also offers social media tools and seeks to promote awareness of disability issues to employers and the general public. The Employer Resources
section of this site has information about recruiting, hiring and retaining people with disabilities, as well as an overview of the many talents and contributions that employees with disabilities can bring to the workplace. There is also information about assistive technologies, job accommodations, tax incentives, occupational safety, and laws that protect the rights of workers with disabilities.
The Employer Assistance and Recruiting Network (EARN)
, a national toll-free telephone and electronic information referral service, is designed to assist employers in locating and recruiting qualified workers with disabilities. EARN, which is a service of ODEP can also provide technical assistance on general disability employment-related issues. EARN can be reached at 1-866-EARN NOW (327-6669) or via its website
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) provides a recruitment guide, “Disability Employment 101,”
a comprehensive analysis of hiring employees with disabilities. It includes information on finding qualified workers with disabilities, putting disability and employment research into practice, and modeling what other organizations have done to successfully integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce.
Appendices of the Disability Employment 101 include checklists and other resources to aid employers as they prepare to hire people with disabilities. Examples include:
Vocational Rehabilitative Employer and Business Development Network
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program is a strong State-Federal partnership that promotes the employment and independence of people with disabilities. The goal of State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies is to assist individuals with disabilities to become employed. VR counselors have specialized training, making them uniquely capable to identify qualified people with disabilities who are ready for employment. Counselors provide access to cutting-edge technologies that can improve the overall work performance of people with disabilities. The VR Employer and Business Development Network help employers find knowledgeable contacts in each State. To connect to the VR point-of-contact in your State visit the website
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration’s(SSA) Ticket to Work
Program is a nationwide initiative to increase job training and employment choices for individuals with disabilities. Employers that offer or arrange for job training, vocational rehabilitation, support, retention, or other types of job-related services and assistance for individuals with disabilities can become “Employment Networks” and are eligible for compensation for services. Employers can directly provide, or arrange for, appropriate employment services, including job readiness, placement, VR, training and support, or retention services for individuals with disabilities.
A related handbook from SSA called Turning Diversity into Dollars
, describes how to become an Employment Network (EN) under the Ticket to Work Program.
U.S. Business Leadership Network
The U.S. Business Leadership Network
(USBLN) is a national employer-led organization that provides a corporate perspective to businesses regarding hiring people with disabilities and marketing to customers with disabilities. With chapters in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the USBLN is a nationally recognized disability voice for the business community and makes the inclusion of peoples with disabilities a business imperative. As a nonprofit trade association, the USBLN provides best practices strategies, specific industry perspectives, toolkits, and other resources to employers seeking to diversify their workforces by including people with disabilities.
Centers for Independent Living
Centers for Independent Living
, often referred to as "CILs," are non-residential places of action and coalition where persons with disabilities learn empowerment and develop the skills necessary to make lifestyle choices. Centers provide services and advocacy to promote the leadership, independence, and productivity of people with disabilities. Centers work with individuals and local communities to remove barriers to independence and ensure equality of persons with disabilities. A directory of CILs
One Stop Career Centers
Like others needing assistance in finding employment, people with disabilities have often been subject to a system that is fragmented and difficult to navigate. Serving people with disabilities is part of the One Stop Career Center’s
legislative mandate. These centers, created under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), can bring together programs and resources for people with disabilities in a user-friendly system that simplifies and expands their access to services. One Stop centers can also play a major role in assisting employers in tapping into this underutilized pool of workforce talent.
Job Accommodation Network
The Job Accommodation Network
(JAN) is a free consulting service for all employers, regardless of the size of an employer’s workforce. It provides information about job accommodations and the employability of people with disabilities. It provides one-on-one consultation on topics including accommodation ideas, product vendors, referral to other resources and ADA compliance assistance.
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