In both Canada and the United States, October is recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The campaign has been established to increase the overall awareness of the positive outcomes of hiring people with disabilities. To promote this cause, we’ve summarized the United States Department of Labour's list of best practices to creating an inclusive workplace:
Lead the Way to an Inclusive Culture: In order to facilitate an inclusive organization, inclusiveness needs to be embedded in the policies at each organizational level. By keeping inclusiveness in mind when developing recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement processes, an organization can create a welcoming workplace for people with disabilities.
Hiring and Keeping the Best: Organizations must review their personnel processes, qualification standards, and job description to ensure that they facilitate the hiring and promotion of people with disabilities within the organization.
Enable Productivity: Employers must be mindful that some people with disabilities require “reasonable accommodations” to perform tasks. They should analyze the procedures and mechanisms they use to ensure effective and efficient implementation of accommodations for employees with these needs is possible.
Effective Outreach and Recruitment: A major issue facing people with disabilities looking for employment is that employers don’t know where to look. To create inclusiveness in the recruitment process, organizations should look to developing strong relationships with a variety of recruitment sources.
Foster Strong External and Internal Communication of Policies & Practices: To create a diverse applicant pool, organizations should communicate their inclusive policies and culture to the general public. Along with external communications, they should also work to promote these views at all levels of the organization to foster awareness, acceptance, and support of its inclusive policies.
Accessible Technology: In our tech savvy society, it is crucial for organizations to perform their outreach and recruitment processes through the Internet. By doing so, they allow for a larger pool of applicants while also making job opportunities more accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Promote Success: While adopting various inclusive policies is a huge step towards creating a welcoming workplace, to ensure implementation organizations should put systems in place. These systems could include accountability and continuous improvement measures, establishing accountability protocol, designating responsible individuals, and creating improvement mechanisms.
By implementing these practices at your organization, you will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of inclusive employment while also creating a more welcoming workplace. For the full document and more information on these practices, click this link.
Image courtesy of: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/2015English.htm