How to Use Your Business to Create Opportunities for the Disabled
Hiring disabled individuals not only provides professional employment opportunities for skilled workers, but it also allows you to operate a business that is both diverse and inclusive. You may also enjoy some types of tax advantages in the form of tax credits. So today, Cogentica offers some tips and resources to help you open your doors to the disabled.
Getting Your Business Established
Before hiring any employees, it’s important that you get your business off the ground and running. If you haven’t already written a business and marketing plan, or created your business entity, now is the time to do it. Forming a limited liability, or LLC, can protect you against some kinds of liability, give you more flexibility and less paperwork, and make it easier to file your taxes.
You can take time away from your schedule to file all of the documents yourself, pay hefty attorney fees to have it managed, or better yet, use an online formation company. Regulations around LLC formation vary from one state to another, so learn about registering before proceeding.
Write Job Descriptions
Every business needs to develop detailed job descriptions for the positions they want to fill in their organization. The process helps you identify the skills and education each role requires and allows you to describe the everyday responsibilities of the position. This will help you write better job postings and conduct more informed interviews. You might also want to supplement digital advertisements with something more tangible; using this free pamphlet template allows you to add some tactile appeal that job candidates can take with them.
You can also ask candidates if they meet or exceed requirements; if physical activity is part of the role, you can define it up front to ensure candidates are aware of expectations prior to applying. If you want to extend specific opportunities to the disabled, you can indicate as such in your postings via verbiage around inclusivity.
Benefits of Hiring the Disabled
Unfortunately, some disabled individuals are limited in employment opportunities, particularly in roles or industries in which they are unable to meet the physical requirements of the job. In addition, some companies still discriminate against the disabled and don’t even give them an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. Both scenarios mean they’re depriving themselves of a significantly sized talent pool, and you can use that to your hiring advantage.
According to Understood, disabled people often have unique skill sets, and they are also cognizant of the challenges people with some types of physical limitations have. This can make them empathetic service providers for all of your customers.
Positioning for Success
While you’re wise to evaluate all job applicants with the same criteria, particularly in specialized industries, there will always be some types of roles, particularly in service industries, in which the disabled may be better positioned to excel. For example, rules that allow for remote work options, to limit the need for travel, if travel is a challenge.
Avvo.com notes that you may also need to adapt your work environment to accommodate disabled staffers. In addition to anticipating needs – such as a wheelchair-accessible workspace or specialized computer equipment, like a voice-activated keyboard or ergonomic workstation, talk to your employees to learn what types of support would be most helpful and aid in their success.
Thinking long term, a great way to give yourself an edge over the competition and continue to grow your business is by pursuing a business degree. Also, thanks to the flexibility of online programs, you can keep working as you study, and implement your business-building lessons in real time.
While your main priority in hiring disabled individuals is to secure talented employees in need of work opportunities, it should also be noted that you may benefit from some types of tax credits. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service offers a Disabled Access credit, a Barrier Removal tax deduction, and a Work Opportunity tax credit as an incentive to create employment opportunities for qualified individuals with special needs. Visit the site for downloadable guide books with detailed information.
Hiring disabled individuals positions your company as an inclusive entity, and will likely afford you the opportunity to retain highly qualified and skilled individuals. Keep in mind, not all disabilities are physical – some are “invisible” disabilities, and if an employee or prospect asks for specific accommodations, the Americans With Disabilities Act can help ensure compliance.
Cogentica believes in helping disabled people through research. Dr. Robin Akins created Cogentica in 2015. We run national and regional disability surveys. Then we use the data to highlight the needs of the disabled community. We love hearing from our visitors!