[tabi] a good article on hiring the disabled

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 13:35:08 -0500

From a recent issued of the Democrat, written by Jerry Osteryoung:



Hiring people with disabilities



"Try not to associate bodily defect with mental, my good friend, except
for a solid

reason." -- Charles Dickens, David Copperfield



There are roughly 54 million people in our country with disabilities of
all types,

and surveys show the rate of unemployment for this group is twice that
of the overall

workforce. However the true number is even higher than these statistics
show, as

many get so discouraged they quit looking. If they are not actively
looking, they

are not included in employment surveys.

It is difficult for people with disabilities to get jobs, as many
employers do not

know how to integrate them into their workforce.

I recently met Kathy who has Asperger syndrome. According to the
National Institute

of Neurological Disorders and Stroke they define Asperger syndrome as:

Asperger syndrome (AS) is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of a
distinct group

of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social
impairment, communication

difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of

Kathy has a master's in taxation and a bachelor's in accounting. She is
also fluent

in Spanish and can read and translate Russian. However, when Kathy
graduated from

college with her master's degree, she went on more than 30 first
interviews and never

once was called back for a second interview. She has basically been
unemployed for

more than 14 years.

Kathy is clearly intelligent. Her ability to communicate, work in teams
and interact

with others, however, was poor. That said, in my mind Kathy is the
perfect example

of a person who can be an incredibly valuable addition to any company,
but potential

employers must understand how to make ac

commodations for her. Her current employer is working with her to insure
that she

is a success.

Just like Kathy, many people with disabilities have much to offer. The

thing is to focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities.

For some time, the federal government has offered programs to encourage
and fund

hiring of people with disabilities. However, a recent change will make
it much easier

for them to find employment.

Starting this week, all federal contractors employees are required to
have 7 percent

of their workforce be made up of people with disabilities. This hiring
plan parallels

what the federal government has previously done for both women and

We could quibble about whether this is the correct percentage but the
important thing

is that it will help remove some of the barriers keeping people with

out of the workforce.

The new change in the law says that the 7 percent goal is not
enforceable right now

for businesses that are not federal contractors, but employers who do
not hit it

will need to submit a plan for meeting the goal to the U.S. Department
of Labor.

Companies with more than 100 employees will have to have 7 percent of
each work group

be people with disabilities, and those with fewer than 100 employees
will have to

have 7 percent of their total workforce.

Bottom line, even if you are not a federal contractor, you need to start

a plan to hire people with disabilities. The biggest problem for most

is they do not know where to look for people with disabilities and they
need extra

support to help make the appropriate accommodations. The Department of

Rehabilitation is available in most states and helps businesses find and
employ people

with disabilities.




Jerry Osteryoung, a consultant to businesses, is the Jim Moran professor
of entrepreneurship

(emeritus) and professor of finance (emeritus) at Florida State
University. He can

be reached by email at jerry.osteryoung@xxxxxxxxx.



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  • » [tabi] a good article on hiring the disabled - Chip Orange