Service providers and community partners can help you find qualified candidates to fill your roles and can offer guidance on how to effectively integrate people with disabilities into your workforce.

Knowing how to find these partners is an important first step. A simple internet search with your state name and vocational rehabilitation (VR) offices will generate a complete list of locations within each state. (VR services are typically provided by the state at little or no cost to your company, although some agencies do charge a minimal fee.) You can also find contacts for VR agencies at www.rehabnetwork.org.

State agencies aren’t the only organizations you will come across when researching disability employment service providers. There are also nonprofit agencies (service providers) and even for-profit agencies that work with people with disabilities. One source to check out: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list of state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Another source is the U.S. Department of Education state contacts page. Finally, don’t forget to look for any well-known national agencies in your community, such as Easter Seals or The Arc.

And don’t forget there might be other community service providers in your area, outside of the employment and disability inclusion fields, who may become valuable partners for your company.

After that, it’s crucial to develop and maintain close relationships to make sure they meet your business objectives.

The following resources will help you effectively partner with community service providers:

“Finding candidates can be challenging, but one of the approaches is to develop a partnership with agencies or groups who specialize in providing services to people with disabilities. Creating a mutual understanding of the goals of both the agency and the business helps to ensure a pipeline of candidates who are qualified for the jobs.”
Deb Russell, President, Deb Russell Inc.

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