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SHRM Foundation Launches Employing Abilities at Work Certificate Program

Participants learn how to recruit, hire and retain individuals with disabilities.

Alexandria, Va. — Today, the SHRM Foundation, the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), announced the launch of its Employing Abilities at Work Certificate program. The free certificate, made possible by an initial investment grant from Kessler Foundation and in partnership with Global Disability Inclusion, aims to educate human resource (HR) professionals, people managers and business leaders about the benefits of providing a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace for individuals with disabilities. Disability diversity in the workforce is good business and benefits the workplace by creating an environment of openness, transparency, and recognition. 

"Many don't understand that nearly 80 percent of disabilities are invisible," said Wendi Safstrom, president of the SHRM Foundation. "By taking this course, you will learn how much business and workplace culture stand to gain by ensuring disability inclusivity in the workplace." 

The certificate program, which consists of seven modules, takes participants through the organizational life cycle of employing people with disabilities. The course establishes baseline knowledge of how accommodation resources can operate and, with each module, shows how HR departments can adapt their hiring practices to fit individual needs. This practice benefits companies long term as organizations will see increased tenure, enjoy more significant innovation and attract customers from a population with a different world perspective. Additionally, participants who are SHRM-certified will earn 10 professional development credits (PDCs) toward their recertification. The SHRM certification program is open to any individual in HR interested in taking the course.

"People with disabilities have the abilities and skills to fill the many employment opportunities in today's job marketplace," said Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, Senior Vice President, of Grantmaking and Communications, Kessler Foundation. "The new SHRM Foundation certificate program tool provides a roadmap for HR professionals on how to recruit, onboard, and train employees with disabilities," she said, adding, "this knowledge enables authentic disability inclusion, which allows all employees to feel welcome, included, and respected. More importantly, this certificate is free, enabling SHRM members and others to influence change and growth in companies looking to diversify their workforce." 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, more than 1 in 4 individuals in the U.S. (26 percent) identify as having a disability, so this community provides a large, unrealized pool of candidates with considerable skills and strengths. The certificate program is meant to allow candidates with disabilities to enter into settings where HR managers, people managers and business leaders have learned about disability inclusion and best practices for its implementation. And while including disability diversity in hiring best practices brings many benefits, this cannot occur without an organization's support. To learn more about the Employing Abilities at Work Certificate program, please visit
About the SHRM Foundation

Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the world's largest HR professional society, SHRM. SHRM represents more than 300,000 HR professionals across the globe, impacting 115 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes the power of HR for positive social change in the workplace. Its robust resources, meaningful partnerships and evidence-based programming educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, prioritize workplace mental health and wellness, develop and support the next generation of HR professionals, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit 


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