Recruitment and Retention of Individuals with Disabilities [2.2.2.i]
The focus of this section is on individuals with disabilities, a group significantly under-represented in the workforce. At nearly 20 percent of the population
, individuals with disabilities are one of the nation’s largest minority groups. However, recent employment statistics
(2015) show that only 20 percent of individuals with disabilities are participating in the workforce, compared to 69.1 percent of individuals without disabilities.1
The word “disabilities” may mean physical disabilities, learning disabilities, blindness, deafness, developmental disabilities, psychiatric disability,2
mental health conditions,3
substance use disorders, and other chronic health issues. The language and terminology to describe individuals with disabilities varies—the terms used in this chapter are consistent with the source material being discussed. As such, there is some inconsistency in language throughout.
The following is a list of some basic resources for information on hiring individuals with disabilities:
- A fact sheet on how individuals with disabilities can help businesses meet their goals can be found at the website of the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
- Additional information on the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, including federal and state initiatives and a table of state laws that encourage private employers to hire, recruit, and retain workers with disabilities, can be viewed on the website for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
- Disability Employment 101 is a guide that includes information on how to find qualified workers with disabilities and successfully integrate them into the workforce. It includes checklists and other resources and can be downloaded from the U.S. Department of Education website.
NOTE: The Building Blocks for Behavioral Health Recruitment and Retention Toolkit
includes the chapter, Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan.
This chapter walks organizations through six steps to identify and address their recruitment and/or retention challenges. The steps include:
Step 1: Gather Organizational Baseline Information
Step 2: Decide on the Priority Recruitment and Retention Focus (Job Position)
Step 3: Analyze the Selected Job Position
Step 4: Write an Accurate Job Description
Step 5: Start the Plan: Identify the Strategy and Intervention
Step 6: Develop the Action Plan
Organizations can choose from six toolkit chapters to respond to their identified recruitment or retention needs: recruitment, selection, employee orientation, recognition, training, and/or supervision. To help retain staff, a support chapter, Dealing with Stress in the Workplace
, offers resources on reducing the impact of stress on the behavioral health workforce. It also provides resources on self-care and the “frustrated employee.”
This sub-chapter, Recruitment and Retention of Individuals with Disabilities, is part of the Recruitment Intervention Strategies 2.2.0.
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