Are Your Doors Open to ALL Qualified Workers?

When it comes to recruiting and retaining talent, fostering work environments that are flexible and open to all qualified employees and potential employees, including those with disabilities, can provide a competitive edge. But some businesses, especially small businesses, may not fully understand how people with disabilities can contribute to their success.

A recent report can help fill this knowledge gap. Opening the Doors of Small Business to Employees with Disabilities highlights the value people with disabilities can add to small businesses and addresses commonly expressed concerns. The report was developed by the Conference Board — an independent, non-profit business membership and research organization with more than 1,000 members worldwide — in collaboration with the Employer Assistance and Resource Network, a service of the National Employer Technical Assistance Center funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

In addition to outlining relevant research findings, the report includes concrete steps small businesses can take to integrate people with disabilities into their organizations. It also offers a first-of-its-kind planning matrix to assist in developing a plan and establishing priorities. Through bottom-line actions, and checklists and timelines for their implementation, this matrix is useful to not only employers new to disability employment, but also those who already employ people with disabilities and want to ensure they can continue to benefit from their skills in the years to come. Because after all, ensuring doors are open to all qualified workers makes good business sense.

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