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New SHRM Foundation Certificate Program Promotes Hiring and Retaining Workers with Disabilities

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Today, SHRM and the SHRM Foundation, in collaboration with the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) announced the California Employing Abilities at Work certificate is now available. This program supports the DOR’s Demand Side Employment Initiative, which is a project by DOR and the California Department of Developmental Services to fund strategic initiatives to increase competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The certificate is free of cost and open to all.

“We at the SHRM Foundation are excited to provide this curriculum. The DOR partnership demonstrates how the state of California is making disability inclusion a priority across its entire workforce,” said Wendi Safstrom, president of SHRM Foundation. “This certificate, tailored to California employers, will help workplaces in California better hire and retain people with disabilities while also supporting disability inclusion.”

California Employing Abilities at Work encourages the recruitment, hiring and retention of individuals with disabilities in California. Additionally, the program will be provided to all California community colleges to integrate into their educational offerings. The certificate will provide resources to employers and human resource professionals for creating an environment of openness, transparency and recognition.  

The certificate provides a California-specific curriculum designed to educate participants on how to create environments for disability inclusion in the workplace, best hiring practices throughout the employee lifecycle, and specific strategies and pathways to ensure success for Californians with disabilities in the workplace.

“Our partnership with SHRM is one of several innovative ways we are engaging with the California business community to employ more people with disabilities,” said DOR Director Joe Xavier. “By educating employers and HR professionals about disability, we hope to connect businesses working to find talent in a tough job market with talented individuals who are often overlooked but want to work.”

To learn more about the certificate program, please visit: To see SHRM Foundation’s other work on creating environments that support workers with disabilities, visit

About SHRM

SHRM is a member-driven catalyst for creating better workplaces where people and businesses thrive together. As the trusted authority on all things work, SHRM is the foremost expert, researcher, advocate, and thought leader on issues and innovations impacting today’s evolving workplaces.  With nearly 340,000 members in 180 countries, SHRM touches the lives of more than 362 million workers and their families globally. Discover more at 

About the SHRM Foundation

SHRM Foundation empowers Human Resources as a force for social good. In the face of complex challenges within the world of work, SHRM Foundation believes that HR holds a unique position to lead change. The organization mobilizes and equips HR to ensure the prosperity and thriving of talent and workplaces. The Foundation works by widening pathways to work for more skills-first candidates and more kinds of talent; tackling societal challenges, with a current focus on workplace mental health and wellness; and strengthening the HR field with even more diversity, growth, and readiness to address these needs. SHRM Foundation works with SHRM, courageous partners, and bold investors to generate awareness, action, and impact to build a world of work that works for all. Discover more at

About the California Department of Rehabilitation

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities. DOR administers the largest vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in the country, providing services to over 116,000 persons with disabilities in fiscal year 2022. Learn more at

About the Demand Side Employment Initiative (DSEI)

 The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) created the Demand Side Employment Initiative (DSEI) as an employer incentive program to support businesses to expand or start hiring people with disabilities. Learn more at