When employers interview new job candidates, and specifically job candidates with disabilities, apprehension or fear could be a “natural” feeling one might experience. But that shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be the case!
Doing a little bit of research and educating ourselves is always a smart thing to do. When it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there is information readily available for us!
MYTH: Providing accommodations for employees is extremely expensive.
In some cases there is either a one-time fee or low cost required to make structural changes to businesses, but there are numerous hiring incentives available for employers who hire persons with disabilities including:
- The Small Business Tax Credit
- Architectural/ Transportation Tax Deduction
- Tax Incentives for hiring Veterans
- The Work Opportunity Tax Credit or (WOTC)
MYTH: Employees with disabilities call in sick a lot!
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Myths and Facts about Worker’s with Disabilities, “Studies by firms such as Dupont show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.”
In Addition, the Department also offers a statistical fact sheet, which documents the amount of absenteeism data collected from the year 2014. According to these statistics of absences (regarding full time workers), and what we have already discovered with the study from Dupont, absenteeism should be about the same regardless of ability.
MYTH: Existing employees feel “uncomfortable” when persons with disabilities are hired.
Today’s employer-focused outcomes rely heavily on “strategy” and should comprehend that there is a strong business case when it comes to the “Strategic Advantage of Diversity.”
According to EARN, some of the advantages of hiring persons with disabilities include increased employee engagement, job satisfaction and loyalty to the company along with obvious reductions in employee turnover. Therefore, when employers make good faith efforts to embrace inclusion as his/her social responsibility, all employees reap the benefits!
What’s my advice to employers when it comes to hiring qualified candidates with disabilities?
Consider familiarizing yourself with the original purpose of the ADA through the publication, “Employment Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (and other related laws).” Though it’s by no means a quick and easy read, it’s formatted in step-by-step format that will expand your current competency level. It may become one of your favorite resources and can easily be used as a convenient desk aide! Consider saving it to your computer’s desktop or “favorites.” When knowledge is based on facts there is no room for myth or apprehension.
Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Navigator team specializing in training, educating and assisting employers, and career center staff throughout the Gulf Coast with community resources, outreach events and technical support in assisting job seekers with disabilities. A native Houstonian with a love of training and development, Frieda has been employed by Workforce Solutions for over 16 years.