At the start of another year, business owners who want to grow their inclusive work environment are looking for tools to help them find, train and retain qualified candidates with disabilities. Here are some resources:
The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) operates the Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN), which provides employers with confidential, no-cost consultation, customized technical assistance and resources to support their diversity and inclusion efforts by integrating employees and veterans with disabilities into the workplace. Topics include tax incentives, accommodations and interview techniques. You can reach an EARN Employment Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-866-327-6669 (Voice/TTY).
If you’re a private employer looking for an intern, try EarnWork’s Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities, which connects employers nationwide with highly motivated post-secondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities. Private-sector employers can call 1-866-EARN-HOW or send an email to email@example.com. (Federal employers can find interns by visiting www.wrp.gov to register and search independently for job seekers who meet their hiring needs.)
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), sponsored by the Department of Labor, is a great source for free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. Their consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available both over the phone 1-800-526-7234, live chat or email through the JAN on Demand page.
ODEP also operates Career One-Stop, which helps employers hire, train, retain and assess potential employees. Career One-Stop’s tools include America’s Career InfoNet where employers can create customized, meaningful job descriptions to help them find and attract the best candidates. They can also explore resources about finding and hiring qualified employees, and find tools, guides, and services related to employee screening during the hiring process. Career One-Stop also helps employers find their state job bank to post job openings or search for candidates through JobBankInfo.org. It also provides a list of private job banks including Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, JOBCentral.org, Flipdog.com, and HireMeNow.com.
Another ODEP resource is the website Disability.Gov. The Employing People with Disabilities section includes resources for employers about recruiting, hiring and retaining people with disabilities. Information is available on assistive technology and accommodations, tax incentives, occupational safety and success stories.