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How can the DPN help employers?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Questions on ADA
How can the Disability Program Navigator help me as an Employer?
The Disability Program Navigator can provide you with information, Free Workshops, Referrals and services on such topics as:
- Tax Incentives
- Reasonable Accommodation Costs
- Disability Etiquette
- TTY phone system
- Valuable resources that provide sound advice on the ADA.
- Myths on hiring/retaining individual with disabilities
- Suggestions on working with specific disabilities,(with the concept that each person is different)
- Resources on many other subjects, question, concerns and needs
* The DPN is here to help.
Why should I recruit and hire from this labor pool?
First and foremost, the answer is because it makes good business sense. Fostering a diverse workforce—which includes people with disabilities—enhances your ability to provide products and services that appeal to a broader range of customers. Having people with disabilities on staff helps your organization relate to its customers with disabilities. In order for your business to grow, you will need workers who are qualified, dependable, and be an asset to the company. However if you have never recruited, hired, or worked with a person with a disability you probably have lots of questions which creates a hesitation in hiring people with disabilities. Here are several major questions and concerns business leaders have reported as reasons they were reluctant to hire people with disabilities.
- Hiring disabled persons enlarges the talent pool and can give companies a competitive advantage.
- Returning disabled employees to work after suffering an accident increases their morale and substantially reduces hiring and training costs.
- Hiring workers with disabilities generates goodwill with customers and employees, and is viewed as an important way of "giving back" to the community.
- Reducing the number of people on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Supplemental Security Disability Income) rolls benefits everyone who pays taxes, and companies bear the greatest tax burden.
- Research shows that disabled employees are dedicated to their jobs and loyal to the company that hires them. They average the same number of sick days as other workers and have better retention rates.
[SOURCE: Innovative Public-Private Partnerships: Promoting the Hiring of Workers with Disabilities, Report #1296-01-RR, The Conference Board.]
Over 900 managers were interviewed by the Harris Poll and they had this to say about people with disabilities who worked for them:
- Nineteen out of twenty managers give employees with disabilities a "good" or "excellent" rating on their job performance. They say employees with disabilities work as hard as or harder than their employees who do not have disabilities. Thirty-nine percent of line managers rate employees with disabilities as better on attendance and punctuality than non-disabled employees, and 40% rate them about the same.
- The average cost of hiring people with disabilities is the same as hiring a person without a disability, according to three-quarters of the employers surveyed. However, only 43% of EEO officers say that their companies have hired people with disabilities.
- Three out of every four managers say that people with disabilities often encounter discrimination from employers.
What is it going to cost my business to accommodate the workplace so people with disabilities can both work as well as visit my business?
Your fears and concerns are important and shared by lots of businesses, but let us share some information that will show why they are unfounded. Here are some answers to your question. Studies have shown that more than half of the accommodations cost less than $500 and over 80% cost less than $1,000. Approximately 31% cost nothing at all. In addition there are resources available to help with some of the accommodations as well as several tax credits that will assist the removal of architectural barriers to your workplace. Remember, if a person needs an accommodation and it is an undue hardship for your business it does not have to be implemented. Even if you don't hire individuals with disabilities, the easier it is for people with disabilities who live in your community as well as the aging citizens to access your business, the more profit your company will enjoy. It is important to note that people with disabilities represent a major market who have needs like other customers. They have substantial buying power.
A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things usually are done that would allow you to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities:
[SOURCE: This information comes from their databank of accommodations. The JAN ADA Information: 1-800-ADA-WORK]
As the demand for accessible products grows, businesses that are already experienced with and attuned to the needs of customer segments with accessibility requirements are naturally in a stronger position. A diverse workforce gives businesses market insights they might not otherwise gain. In the end, a diverse workforce provides a competitive edge. Accessible technology also helps organizations retain talented employees who develop temporary or permanent disabilities, and those who develop impairments due to the natural aging process. Retaining employees by the use of Accessible technology helps eliminate the high cost of hiring and training replacements, and improves employee morale.
Will my insurance rates go up?
Many businesses express fear and concern that if they hire workers with disabilities the companies insurance costs will go up. A survey of human resource managers, conducted by Cornell University, has found that companies' health, life and disability insurance costs rarely rise because of hiring employees with disabilities. However, attitudinal stereotypes about people with disabilities are still pervasive in the workplace, causing them to be hired less and fired more than workers without disabilities
How will hiring people with disabilities affect the morale of my other employees?
Your concern about your other employees is one that every good manager or owner needs to consider in hiring any new employee. Depending upon your other workers experiences with working or socializing with people with disabilities, they may be uncomfortable at first, but usually this doesn't last very long. Most of the time, you need to make sure your other workers are not trying to assist the person with a disability too much. It has been reported by a number of employers that having persons with disabilities in the work environment causes other employees to work harder and be more productive. Accessible technology, which accommodates visual, hearing, mobility, learning, and language impairments, helps organizations retain talented employees who develop temporary or permanent disabilities, and those who develop impairments due to the natural aging process. Retaining employees by the use of Accessible technology helps eliminate the high cost of hiring and training replacements, and improves employee morale
* Free trainings are available to help employers and staff with reducing the awkwardness of the unknown.
What happens if the person with a disability doesn't work out in my company?
This concern has been asked by many businesses. The issue of a person with a disability experiencing performance problems which might lead to termination is an issue that many employers fear. It is never easy to terminate someone from a job, however if the employee is not able to do the work and after efforts have been made to correct the performance but without results, you are within your rights to terminate the employee with a disability just as you would any other employee.
How do I deal with a person with a disability in an interview situation and what if I say the wrong thing?
One of the biggest fears expressed by people is what do I do when I meet and interview someone with a disability. What is the proper etiquette? What do I say? Do I offer my hand? Do I move furniture? What if I make a Mistake or say something stupid? All of these are normal feelings when you first meet someone with a disability. However, the more contact you have with people with disabilities and the more interviews you conduct, the more comfortable you will become in dealing with people with disabilities. There are certain etiquette tips that can be provided to you and other businesses as well as training opportunities for interviewing applicants with disabilities. If you make a mistake, just shake it off and move on. We are all humans and make mistakes. The applicant with a disability will understand.
What are my responsibilities and obligations if I do hire someone with a disability?
Your responsibility is to make any reasonable accommodation necessary for the employee to do his or her job.
DPN Employer Fact Sheet (Tax Incentive Information)
Questions on ADA
U.S. Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act:
Myths and Facts:
Small Employers And Reasonable Accommodation: