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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).  During the month of October, Freedom Friday will highlight “Business Strategies that Work.”

The disability community represents the third largest market segment in the United States (54 million strong).  By identifying, adopting, and refining effective and meaningful employment practices that welcome people with disabilities, you too can benefit from having a vibrant, diverse workforce.

To effectively build a pipeline of qualified applicants with disabilities, your company will need to develop relationships with a variety of recruitment sources.   Public recruiting sources, including One-Stop Career Centers, State vocational rehabilitation agencies and community rehabilitation programs, State employment agencies, independent living centers, and Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Offices.  Educational institutions, including community colleges, universities, and other institutions of learning and/or training, including those that offer programs for individuals with specific disabilities, such as persons who are blind, deaf, and have learning disabilities. Most college campuses have designated offices for students with disabilities, and these should be contacted for recruitment purposes in addition to career services.  Non-profit entities and social service agencies, including labor organizations, organizations of and for individuals with disabilities, and other such entities that may provide referrals, technical assistance, and other advice on proper placement, recruitment, and accommodations.

The investment will be well worth the effort; your company will not only secure access to talent that it otherwise may have overlooked, but also benefit from other supports that can assist in effectively integrating job candidates with disabilities into your workforce.

Adapted from:

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