There are 61 million people in the United States who have a disability (Centers for Disease Control, 2020). That’s 1 in every 4 people. Individuals with disabilities are a large talent pool ready to bring their skills to your company. State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and provide business and jobseeker services in every U.S. state, territory, and many Indian Nations. As an integral part of the Statewide Workforce Development System, State VR agencies can help your business identify, hire, and onboard candidates with disabilities, as well as support employee growth and retention.
There are several topic areas to consider when employing jobseekers or retaining employees with disabilities. The following information offers a starting point and resources for navigating these topics.
Select a topic for more information.
- Interviewing Applicants with Disabilities
The job interview plays a critical role in the hiring process, allowing businesses the opportunity to identify candidates with the best knowledge, skills, and abilities for the available position. Learn more about interviewing applicants with disabilities and how to ensure the hiring process is inclusive and accessible.
- Focus on Ability: Interviewing Applicants with Disabilities is a webpage from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) that offers tips and resources for employers for interviewing jobseekers with disabilities.
- Interviews: Ensure Your Organization’s Interview Processes are Inclusive of People with Disabilities is a webpage from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) that offers guidance on ensuring your organization's interview process is welcoming, inclusive, and accessible for all jobseekers, including individuals with disabilities.
- Hiring Jobseekers with Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities are a large talent pool ready to bring their skills, talents, and abilities to the workplace. Learn more about hiring individuals with disabilities.
- Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP) is an online system which offers a national talent pool of jobseekers with disabilities and a job board. TAP offers business the opportunity to post jobs, search candidate resumes based on skill sets and geographic ability, capture job metrics, conduct online job fairs, interview candidates and more.
- Hiring People with Disabilities is a webpage from the U.S. Department of Labor that features multiple resources about hiring jobseekers with disabilities
- Hire Employees with Disabilities is a webpage from the U.S. Small Business Administration that provides information and resources, including tips for inclusive job postings, accommodations, and retaining talent.
- The National Employment Team (NET) The NET is a national network of the 78 public Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs that supports a united or “one company” approach to working with employers.
- Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) on Disability Inclusion is a website that offers information and resources to help recruit, hire, retain and advance individuals with disabilities, build inclusive workplace cultures, and meet diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) goals.
- Careeronestop Business Center is a web resource for assistance in hiring, training, and retaining a strong workforce.
- Disability and Employment is online resource for the American Job Center network, people with disabilities, and employers and a resource for all key stakeholders who partner with the workforce system to provide services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
- Retaining Employees with Disabilities
Employee turnover is a challenge facing businesses due to the costs associated with loss in productivity, increased demands on remaining staff, as well as the time to hire, train, and on-board new staff. Learn how to retain employees with disabilities and ensure success for the long-term.
- Retain is a webpage from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) that offers strategies to help ensure valued employees with disabilities (including those who may acquire a disability due to injury, illness, or aging) succeed.
- Advancing Employees with Disabilities
Creating professional development and career advancement opportunities offers employees and business many opportunities including increased retention, improved efficiency, and succession planning. Learn more about creating professional development and advancement opportunities for employees with disabilities.
- Professional Development and Advancement of Employees with Disabilities is a research-to-practice brief that discusses key workforce trends and common workplace barriers, and provides recommendations for fully incorporating employees with disabilities into career development and advancement programs.
- Advancement in Action: Case Studies is a series of case studies that feature a variety of innovative approaches to ensure individuals with disabilities have opportunities to advance at work.
- Creating an Accessible and Inclusive Workplace
When businesses create an accessible and inclusive workplace there are benefits for employees, customers, and the community. Learn more about strategies to create an accessible and inclusive workplace.
- Creating an Accessible and Welcoming Workplace is a webpage from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) that addresses the multiple dimensions of accessibility (including physical and technological accessibility), as well as attitudinal awareness.
- Inclusion@Work: A Framework for Building a Disability-Inclusive Organization is a webpage from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) that offers strategies for creating disability-inclusive workplace cultures and meeting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility goals.
- Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a website that fosters collaborations in the technology space that builds inclusive workspaces. PEAT provides resources, toolkits, trainings, podcasts, and more to employers and businesses regarding emerging technologies
- Building an Inclusive Workforce: A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Employees with Disabilities is a guide created by U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) that offers resources to illustrate how workplace practices that include employees with disabilities benefit everyone and make good business sense.
- WorkforceGPS is an online technical assistance website created to help build the capacity of America's public workforce investment system. Sponsored by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor, WorkforceGPS was developed specifically for workforce professionals, educators, and business leaders and provides curated communities of interest, useful webinars and other training resources, promising workforce development practices, and relevant evidence-based research.
- WorkforceGPS Business Engagement Collaborative Community is an online community with a commitment to providing economically valuable solutions for businesses across the business lifecycle. The community exists to share ideas, experiences, resources, and outcomes, and it promotes innovations to business engagement strategies, tactics, partnerships, measurements, and more. The Business Engagement Collaborative focuses on Rapid Response, layoff aversion, and sector strategies, but it is applicable to anyone who is interested in elevating business engagement to a prominent place in their state, region, or community.
- The Federal Bonding Program is a program that provides Fidelity Bonds for “at-risk,” hard-to-place job seekers. The bonds cover the first six months of employment at no cost to the job applicant or the employer. Learn more about this program to diversify your workplace.
- Business Guide for Working with Individuals Who Are DeafBlind is a web resource from Helen Keller Services that offers communication tips, accommodations suggestions, and other strategies to include individuals who are DeafBlind in the workplace.
- Zoom Video-Conferencing: Accessibility Practices for People who are DeafBlind is a document from Helen Keller Services that provides considerations, resources, and accommodation strategies to ensure video conferencing is accessible to individuals who are Deafblind.
- Financial Incentives for Hiring Employees with Disabilities
Businesses who include individuals with disabilities in their workforce may be eligible for both federal and state incentives to support inclusion and diversity, and to support accommodations. Learn more about financial incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers who invest in American jobseekers who have consistently faced barriers to employment, such as individuals with disabilities. Employers may meet their business needs and claim a tax credit if they hire an individual who is in a WOTC targeted group.
Disabled Access Credit and Architectural / Transportation Tax Deduction, Barrier Removal provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities. The Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly.
Find information about these and other financial incentives for hiring employees with disabilities below:
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a webpage from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that provides information, frequently asked questions, and forms for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
- Tax Benefits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities is a webpage by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that provides information about various tax benefits that are available to employers.
- Office of Disability Employment Policy Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a webpage that offers information regarding the WOTC including fact sheets and a quick reference guide for employers.
- Employer Tax Incentives Available from the Federal Government is a webpage from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) that offers information regarding Federal tax incentives available to employers for hiring individuals with disabilities.
- Employer Financial Incentives is a website with resources compiled by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) to assist employers with learning about and navigating tax credits and financial incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities. Includes a list of state tax programs.
- Inclusive Apprenticeships
Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential. Registered Apprenticeship programs are a proven solution to creating and retaining a pipeline of diverse, specialized talent.
- Apprenticeship.gov is a one-stop web source to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners with apprenticeship resources.
- Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship is a website that features resources for individuals with disabilities and businesses to learn about apprenticeship options.
- Disability Education and Awareness Training
Disability education and awareness training promotes confidence and sensitivity when working with customers and employees with disabilities. Learn more about resources available to assist with disability awareness initiatives.
- Disability Sensitivity Guide is a guide created by the National Disability Institute (NDI) that provides information on increasing awareness and provides communication strategies to create a more inclusive environment.
- Effective Accommodation Practices (EAP) Series: Disability Etiquette in the Workplace is a document that identifies etiquette strategies that foster inclusion of individuals with disabilities in an employment setting.
- Job Accommodations
A job accommodation is an adjustment to a job or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform their job duties. Learn more about job accommodations and approaches to make your workplace accessible.
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Page for Employers is a comprehensive website focused on educating and assisting employers navigate accommodations for employees with disabilities.
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Workplace Accommodation Toolkit is a is a free, comprehensive online resource for employers seeking to move beyond basic compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to create more disability-inclusive workplaces.
- The ADA National Network is an organization that provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
- The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer is a webpage created by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to help employers understand.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Disability Inclusion Toolkit is an online toolkit to assist employers learn how AI tools function, how organizations can and do use AI tools in the workplace, and how to navigate the challenges in making AI implementations equitable for employees with disabilities. We also included practical guidance, tips, and resources to help employers integrate Equitable AI into their organizations.
- Office of Disability Employment Policy Accommodations Page is a webpage to provide information and resources regarding the ADA and workplace accommodations.
Please note: This webpage lists several of the many valuable resources to help you identify, hire, and onboard candidates with disabilities, as well as help you develop and retain your employees with disabilities. However, the information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the position or policies of the Department, and no official endorsement of any non-Federal product, service, or venture should be inferred. The NCRTM invites you to send recommendations for other resources to add to this section by emailing email@example.com.