Employer? Here’s help for hiring people with disabilities

employee who uses wheelchairThe most recent U.S. census indicated that about 19 percent of the population has a disability. Employers who want to capitalize on the value and talent of that potential workforce have access to wealth of free, expert, confidential resources at the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

JAN is funded by a contract from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, and is the leading resource on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. They have a 35-year history of successful collaboration with private industry, academic institutions, and other government agencies to enhance work opportunities for people who have disabilities, and help employers hire and retain them successfully.

Individual consultation is available over the phone or online, and emphasizes workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and related legislation. If you have questions or want to understand how your organization could benefit, you can call JAN at (800) 526-7234 for voice, (877) 781-9403 for TTY, or email them at jan@askjan.org. Or start by exploring their rich online resources.

Here are some key sections on the JAN website:

  • Start by checking out resources for employers, including specific details for private businesses, federal, and state and local government agencies.
  • A popular section of the JAN resources is SOAR, searchable online accommodation resources, which lets you research accommodation options for specific types of disabilities or logistical needs. You can also contact JAN for free consulting if you don’t find information on the types of accommodation needed.
  • The Workplace Accommodation Toolkit includes success stories of workplace accommodations, modules for learning about PTSD, brain injury, a variety of assistive technology, ergonomics, and more.
  • JAN took a look at employers’ frequent requests, and put together a series of just-in-time training videos and presentations to build expertise and awareness for handling new situations, or handling existing needs better. Vides include: Interviewing a Job Candidate on the Autism Spectrum, Accommodating an Employee with Non-apparent Disabilities, Retaining an Individual with Chronic Health Conditions, Advancing an Individual Who is Deaf, and more.

For more ideas and resources on hiring a diverse workforce, check out CareerOneStop’s Business Center.


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