October Is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Oct 3, 2016
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​#InclusionWorks is this year's theme for recognizing the contributions of people with disabilities in the workplace, in observation of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Employers and HR professionals can take advantage of resources available from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and its Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). SHRM certificants have an opportunity to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace, pursuant to the Global & Cultural Effectiveness competency

Today's employers need a workforce that can adapt to different situations and circumstances—which is something that people with disabilities do every day. In the workplace, the resourcefulness of these employees can translate into innovative ideas and fresh approaches to confronting challenges and achieving success. In addition, research shows that clients and consumers look favorably on organizations that employ people with disabilities. 

The roles of SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credential holders in the employment of people with disabilities relate to several HR functional areas, including U.S. Employment Law & Regulations, Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Acquisition, and Employee & Labor Relations, and to most of the behavioral competencies but especially Communication, Relationship Management, Consultation and Ethical Practice. 

Resources for HR professionals:

Disability employment policy resources from the DOL:

  • Employers main page. Specialized information on recruiting, hiring, retention, career advancement, accommodations, stay at work/return to work and small businesses.
  • Tax incentives. Credits and deductions available to private businesses that make structural adaptations or other accommodations for employees or customers with disabilities.
  • Diversity and inclusion. A four-step reference guide, toolkits from the Campaign for Disability Employment and more.
  • Older workers. Information on the disability implications of an aging workforce.
  • Mental health. Addressing the needs of people with mental health conditions in disability employment policies.
  • Requirements for federal contractors. Businesses that have contracts with the federal government are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities. 

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