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Out With the Old and in With the New…Guidance

During a Summit on Disability and Employment in February of this year, the White House announced the release of a new guide entitled Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities, A Resource Guide For Employers ("New Disability Guide"), which offers employers much-needed practical and technical assistance when making disability-related employment decisions. The New Disability Guide is a product of the efforts made by the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative, which is a multi-federal agency effort to increase employment opportunities and financial independence to individuals with disabilities. This New Disability Guide is timely as many employers continuously struggle in making informed decisions related to disabilities.

The New Disability Guide will undoubtedly be helpful to employers in navigating their thought processes and resulting decisions. The New Disability Guide will offer employers a "best practices guide" in a plain-language, user-friendly, question-and-answer format. The EEOC, along with other federal governmental agencies, played an integral role in putting this guide together. While the guide is thorough and full of resources for employers, there are four main focuses of the New Disability Guide including 1) Recruitment of candidates with disabilities; 2) Respect, retention and promotion of employees with disabilities; 3) Providing reasonable accommodations; and 4) Explaining to employers the legal framework behind the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The New Disability Guide is manageable and the concepts are easy to grasp and apply in disability-related situations. Some questions the New Disability Guide answers are: What are some strategies to recruit Veterans with disabilities? What are some best practices for interviewing applicants with disabilities? How can employers provide employees with disabilities equal access to career development programs? How can return to work programs be more inclusive of employees with disabilities? What are some best practices on developing accommodations processes and procedures? Perhaps more convenient for employers, the New Disability Guide provides hyperlinks to webinars, a listing of internship programs, studies compiled related to various disability issues, and mounds of other information employers can access all from one central location.

Employers should be encouraged with the introduction of the New Disability Guide, as it offers a host of benefits and resources, and only pushes us further along the path of increasing employment opportunities and financial independence to individuals with disabilities.

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