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  Iowa Workforce Access
430 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
Telephone: (515) 281- 9045
FAX: (515) 281- 9096
Email: access@iwd.iowa.gov

 

Six Steps to a Win-Win Employment Situation

Woman in a wheelchair conversing“Win With Ability”, a publication from the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) indicates several benefits to business for including people with disabilities in their workforce: 

Including employees with disabilities in the workforce creates win-win situations. Employers access productive, loyal employees with good attendance records.  Employees with disabilities gain self-esteem and self-sufficiency, a benefit for everyone in the community. 

(ODEP) has identified six elements that contribute to creating a win-win situation: 

        Company Commitment:  An employer’s commitment to hire and accommodate people with disabilities must come from the top and be communicated clearly and often to all levels of the organization.  Supervisors and managers, who know they have organizational support, can confidently include people with disabilities in their workforce. 

        Broad-based Recruitment:  Employers must recruit people with disabilities for all positions, including announcements to disability-related organizations and agencies, and should state that the employer encourages people with disabilities to apply. 

        Interviewing and Hiring: Interviewers and hiring officials should be trained to comply with federal and state disability nondiscrimination laws.  During the hiring process employers should clearly identify the essential functions of all positions and use them as the criteria for making hiring decisions.  Candidates with known disabilities must be evaluated on the skills, training and abilities they present, including their ability to perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodations.  Employers would be prepared to provide reasonable accommodations for the hiring process to applicants with disabilities, when needed. 

        Willingness to Make Accommodations:  Proper workplace accommodations enable an employee with a disability to perform the duties of the job fully and competently.  Many resources exist to assist employers with this process, including the employee with a disability.   

        Access to Training:  It is important that all training programs and materials, including those that prepare employees for advancement, be available and accessible to all employees. 

        Awareness and Sensitivity:  Negative or paternalistic attitudes toward people with disabilities are sometimes present in the workplace. It is important that employees, supervisors, and managers receive information and guidance on the myths and stereotypes about people with disabilities.  Accurate information about the facts and realities can help create a positive atmosphere in which the employee with a disability can demonstrate his or her abilities.   

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