If your business is interested in hiring people with disabilities, there are a number of best practices they can employ to attract and keep people with disabilities. It begins with doing a disability organizational assessment as well as a gap analysis to check the overall readiness of your company to work with people with disabilities. There are many factors to consider. They include an appropriate recruitment and retention strategy, access to disability employee resource groups, training managers and staff to interact with disabled workers and reviewing company policies and processes that may affect people with disabilities.

The Hiring Process

Companies serious about hiring people with disabilities must have an effective strategy for finding, recruiting, hiring and retaining them. That should include having disabled people test your company’s online application forms. Employers can find qualified people with disabilities for their job openings by contacting campus career centers as well as the disability service directors at the schools. Partnering with the Vocational Rehabilitation organization in your city or state, the bureau of rehabilitation services or organizations like Easter Seals can also help. So can participating in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Disability Mentoring Day.

Teach Appropriate Interactions

Organizations including the United Spinal Association and Easterseals can provide resources to help staff better deal with employees and customers with disabilities. Gathering and sharing awareness raising information about people with disabilities and their achievements and contributions can also help your staff better understand, accept and interact with people with disabilities. This can teach them the disability etiquette that’s essential for the disabled person to feel respected and accepted.

The Disabled And Emergencies

As part of the process of preparing to hire a person with a disability, staff members must be taught the appropriate way to assist people with disabilities in an emergency situation or an evacuation drill. The entire staff should be trained proper safety and security measures to take with disabled people during an emergency.

A Clear Message

If your company is willing to accept people with disabilities, say so on the job application on your website. This will make applicants less concerned that if they self-identify as a person with disabilities they won’t be considered for the job. Further, include a clear description of the tasks the job requires. This will enable the disabled person can determine whether or not they can handle the essential job functions of the available position. Additionally, you can contact Source America, an organization that helps place people with disabilities with great careers.