October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities.
While employment gains have been made by people with disabilities, there are still many challenges that make unemployment rates higher in the disabled community.
Although NDEAM was established in 1945, there’s still a lot of work to be done to dispel the misconceptions surrounding hiring individuals with disabilities. Employers often think candidates with disabilities are not qualified. The truth is, many people with disabilities are highly qualified and capable of performing a wide range of jobs. While workers with disabilities might complete a task in a different way, they are typically just as qualified as their non-disabled counterparts.
Creating an inclusive workplace is no longer optional for businesses to thrive. Employers are encouraged to incorporate a diversity strategy into their hiring practices and to pursue ways to build a welcoming environment for employees. Providing the necessary support and accommodations enables workers to excel in their roles. Promoting diversity and inclusion can also lead to a more productive and innovative workforce that benefits both employees and employers.
It’s essential that we challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about workers with disabilities and recognize the valuable contributions they make in the workforce.
If your business isn’t already working in these areas, NDEAM is the time! Ohio Valley Goodwill is passionate about creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. If you have questions about how you can hire people with disabilities, we’re happy to help!
NDEAM also provides valuable resources for employers and people with disabilities. We can all do our part to spread the word and create more equitable opportunities for all!