By: Trenaya Reid, Workforce Manager NLLRC
Many private, nonprofit, and government organizations would like to diversify their workforce but do not know the proper steps or resources available to move forward. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the jobless rate for people with disabilities is twice as high as for those without a disability. As of September 2022, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 8.3%. Although these numbers have decreased in recent years, it is still vital to ensure people with disabilities and those of diverse backgrounds are represented within the workforce.
Throughout Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition highlights resources available within the Workforce Development Program that assist individuals with disabilities and employers looking to diversify their workforce. The Workforce Development Program released a new fact sheet titled, Hiring Practices for Individuals with Disabilities and Those within Diverse Backgrounds. This fact sheet provides employers with organizations, programs, and resources available to assist them with hiring individuals with disabilities and diversifying their organizations.
Learn about federal programs available throughout the United States, assisting employers and potential candidates with disabilities. An example of these programs is Vocational Rehabilitation, which provides individuals with disabilities with resources needed to maintain secure, long-term employment. The resources provided by Vocational Rehabilitation also assist employers by providing the employee with additional training (from a job coach), if needed, or adaptive equipment to aid them within their job role.
Another program, The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), assists federal employees with hiring individuals with disabilities. The program is designed for employers within various federal departments to diversify by employing a certain percentage of individuals with disabilities. More information on the Workforce Recruitment Program, including Schedule A Hiring Authority for individuals with disabilities, can be found on our fact sheet.
Other private organizations, like the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), can assist employers in better supporting their employees with disabilities. Employers can use the Job Accommodation Network website to work with their employees on reasonable accommodations that are best suited for them at the worksite.
Learn more about these programs and get additional resources/articles on hiring practices and job-related topics for employers. If you are an employer in need of guidance on diversifying your organization, reach out to our National Limb Loss Resource Center.