Clearly defining and communicating your initiative around hiring people with disabilities and how it integrates into your company’s broader culture, vision, and values will help everyone from C-suite to frontline workers understand and articulate the program’s purpose.
“As with any new initiative, it is important to ensure proper planning and alignment with business objectives. It is no different when starting a disability inclusion program. Proper planning will ensure effective implementation, program adoption, growth and expansion.”Meg O’Connell
President, Global Disability Inclusion
Establishing a Process and Timeline
The length of time it takes to implement a disability employment and inclusion program depends on a range of factors, including site complexity, scale, policies and procedures. Here is a sample implementation process timeline for a pilot program leading to national rollout.
- Buy-in: Secure agreement from senior leadership agreement to move forward
- Assessment: Review company policies, practices, programs and procedures to assess what needs to change
- Planning: Develop a plan to address identified gaps
- Pilot Rollout: Execute plan with local sites and revise plan based on learnings
- Scale Rollout: Implement internal communications for broader internal rollout, and execute plan for national rollout
- Steady State: Establish ongoing structure and ownership, and communicate progress internally and externally
Preparing the Environment
Assess Site Impact
Understand how the disability employment and inclusion program will impact the site where you have chosen to begin your implementation. How does the program fit into your site’s goals for hiring, production and value creation? What modifications must be made to available jobs and current openings? What do staffing firms and contractors need to know to include people with disabilities in staffing pipelines?
Analyze the Environment
Understand how your disability employment and inclusion program fits within your human resource goals and processes. What are your diversity and human resource goals in terms of hiring, training and inclusion? How do you support employees who need accommodation? How might you use incentives to promote your disability employment and inclusion program?Toolkit: Environmental and Job Analysis (PDF)
Determine Facility Readiness
Understand modifications that might be required to support your disability employment and inclusion program. Are there potential accessibility barriers within your facility? Is there support for accessible information and communications technologies?Toolkit: Facility Checklist (PDF)
Building a Team
Identifying the right internal and external people for your initiative’s implementation team is critical for the success of the program. Best practice internal governance structures typically have a project sponsor, site champion, and working team. Explore partnerships with nonprofit service providers, employment services, and consultants.