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Supporting Persons With Disabilities in the Workplace: The Why is Important but the How is Critical

Nadine O. Vogel, President, Springboard Consulting LLC

When it comes to supporting persons with disabilities, the largest and fastest growing minority segment in the world, in today’s corporate workplaces, today’s CEO’s are looking to their Diversity executives to take the lead in the mitigation of risk along-side the enhancement of productivity, retention and related profitability. Although understanding the ever-changing legislative requirements of the EEOC, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the OFCCP, Office of Contract Compliance Programs for U.S. Federal Contractors is important, it’s the practical applications and best practices of such applications that are critical to effectively and sustainably supporting this segment in a way that positively impacts business results.

Initiatives such as those listed below have become best practices for those employers desiring to become an Employer of Choice for this population, now the largest and fastest growing minority in the world–cut.

1.    The identification and removal of physical barriers via the use of a Barrier Assessment Survey.

2.    Making reasonable accommodations fair and equitable across the footprint of an organization by establishing a Reasonable Accommodation Committee.  Such a multi-touchpoint committee includes a documented, consistent process of protocols, time-limits, resources, etc.  Once established, its success is ensured via enterprise-wide communication and training on its’ use.

3.    The establishment of a disability employee resources group with a stated mission, vision, objectives and activities that are directly tied to business goals and objectives rather than established as a company sponsored support or networking group.

4.    The delivery of enterprise-wide disability etiquette & awareness training relative to the communication and engagement of candidates, employees and customers with disabilities.  This initiative has become a number one global best practice when delivered from a social justice perspective, utilizing everyday examples across the spectrum of disabilities.

Many more examples of the “how”, those practical applications and best practices to support this large, loyal segment will be discussed in the live session at the Forum so mark your calendar now as it will be a session you will not want to miss.

Nadine Vogel is President of Springboard Consulting LLC.  Springboard (www.consultspringboard.com) and is considered a global expert; working with multinational corporations to mainstream disability in the workforce, workplace and marketplace. Nadine is also the author of DIVE IN, Springboard into the Profitability, Productivity and Potential of the Special Needs Workforce. 

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