Assessing whether your implementation site is ready can feel daunting, but the process is not difficult after you’ve identified the overall goals for your initiative and for your company. After all, the goal of a disability inclusion initiative is mutual success – knowing what success looks like is the first step in getting there.

Remember, this process is to review your site’s readiness for implementation, and it is unlikely the site will be ready at first review. What’s important is establishing the baseline for your disability inclusion program, and building your program to meet the needs of your implementation site (and/or other sites you might scale to).

These three steps can help:

1. Determine how a disability employment and inclusion program fits into your site’s goals for hiring, production and value creation. For example, you may want to:

  • Lower turnover by increasing the retention rate for certain positions or across a location
  • Meet demand for a larger labor pool
  • Reduce absenteeism for a department or location
  • Lower recruitment costs
  • Increase productivity

Well-designed disability inclusion initiatives are built to mutually benefit the company and employees; understanding what your company needs will help you understand where to put your priorities when it comes to hiring people with disabilities.

2. Evaluate available jobs and current openings based on a number of factors:

  • Job title and description — technical and personal skills required; core responsibilities; secondary responsibilities
  • Application and interview process
  • Immediate supervision
  • Organization of workplace, including employee non-work areas
  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Communication styles

Your goal for a disability inclusion initiative is to get the right people in the right roles. This means setting yourself up for success in both talent acquisition and ongoing employee productivity/engagement.

Understanding the space an employee will work in, and the work they will need to do, is integral to finding the right fit for any role; this is no different for workers with disabilities.

3. Determine whether current site staffing firms or contractors need help understanding their role in hiring people with disabilities:

  • Do they partner with local sources for talent with disabilities?
  • Do they have resources and policies for reasonable accommodations?
  • Do their staff members need training on recruiting and managing people with disabilities?

Building a mutually productive relationship with an employee doesn’t begin when they start work; it begins when they first interact with your company. Making sure your company is including prospects with disabilities in its talent pool, and setting up systems to support them during the interview process and their ongoing work, is the backbone of a disability inclusion initiative.

Now that you’ve begun to think about the goals, needs, policies, practices, and partnerships, it’s also time to consider how accessible your implementation site is.

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