Capitalism and Disability: A Guest Post by Ted James

Ted James reached out to me through the website and wanted to write an article. In tribute to April as Disability Awareness Month, and because Ted was. super easy to work with (and persistent), I’m posting this. Hopefully it’ll be a useful piece of a larger narrative that promotes Disability Awareness. As a one-on-one financial coach, Ted James has seen and helped it all. He created his site, Ted Knows Money, to share money tips and help people get complete control of their finances.

People with disabilities make up the bulk of the underemployed and unemployed ( in America. However, hiring people with disabilities can do a business a lot of good because doing so creates a more inclusive work culture and brings new (often overlooked) ideas and perspectives to the table.

Creating an Inclusive Culture

With many people with disabilities seeking work either directly out of college or in the existing talent pool, organizations are taking strides to recruit these employees because they are known to work hard and often show loyalty to their employers. Here are some recruiting strategies for your company to adopt that will help ensure an inclusive environment to attract these workers:

  • Universal Design and Compliance. Your business can take steps that will attract people with disabilities by bringing equipment and workspaces up to standards. Workplaces are shifting to a more evolved approach by adopting universal design, thus creating a copasetic atmosphere for all employees. Implementing a workplace of universal design will be attractive to people with disabilities because they know they will be able to perform their work duties without impediments. 
  • Addressing Diversity. Disabled individuals face many of the same issues in the workplace as other minority groups. You should address these issues in your company’s diversity awareness policies. The most important habit for successful recruiting is to create an atmosphere of total inclusiveness to attract top talent.
  • Communication. One area of inclusiveness you can establish is to create an environment that will encourage employees to feel comfortable speaking about their disabilities. You can do this by presenting a culturally diverse atmosphere starting in the initial phases of the hiring process. An inclusive atmosphere is one in which employees can express their situation or needs safely. Hiring individuals with disabilities as managers or in other leadership roles can open up the channels for dialogue.
  • Offer continuing education opportunities. Although things are changing, people with disabilities are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than people without a disability. So offer your employees the opportunity to pursue higher education. Many accredited universities now offer robust online programs for bachelor’s and master’s degrees that could make your new employee even better at their job.

Good Recruiting Sources

One recruiting tactic that will save you money on job postings is to go directly to support centers, schools, and government agencies that work with disabled individuals seeking employment. Many potential recruits work directly with organizations to find employment, offering your business greater recruiting opportunities.

To get a great candidate, start with an effective job description that clearly establishes that this is an equal opportunity position, and offer a quick evaluation process. These practices are important whether you recruit on your own or through an organization or a recruiting agency. If you go through a recruiting agency, be sure to ask specifically about their accessible hiring practices. 

You could also try adding some extra bonuses and incentives to your recruitment process. For instance, gift cards can go a long way, and using this solution to distribute virtual cards is quick and easy, conveying a sense of confidence and professionalism in your business, as well as allowing you to attract the top talent that your business deserves.

Staying Current With the Times

Employment opportunities for people with disabilities are on the rise as the benefits of hiring them are gaining recognition from businesses. It’s important to continue this effort and dispel the unfair biases present through outdated employment practices by requesting applicants with disabilities. 

Jenny Forrester is the widely published author of several books, as well as a host of journal publications. If you have any questions, she’d love to hear from you!
Image via Pexels

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