AskEARN | Expressing a Commitment to Disability Inclusion Skip to main content

Welcome to AskEARN’s new website. As we transition to our new site, you can still visit EARN’s previous site.

About EARN

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers information and resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; build inclusive workplace cultures; and meet diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals. 

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Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities — and how EARN’s resources can help.

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    Phases of Employment

  • A woman in a wheelchair shakes hands with a colleague

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • A man wearing a blue jumpsuit uses forearm crutches

    Hire

    Identify people who have the skills and attributes for the job.

  • A woman with a disability wearing a helmet works in a factory

    Retain

    Keep talented employees with disabilities, including those who acquire them on the job.

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    Advance

    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

News & Events

EARN makes it easy to stay up-to-date on disability employment news and information. Start by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and eblasts, which will connect you to upcoming events, developing news and promising practices in the world of disability diversity and inclusion. And don’t forget to follow EARN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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Expressing a Commitment to Disability Inclusion

Learn about effective strategies for communicating your organization's commitment to disability inclusion as part of an overall strategy to meet your organization's DEIA goals.

Expressing a commitment to a diverse workplace welcoming of the skills and talents of people with disabilities is one of the easiest ways to foster a disability-inclusive culture and work toward meeting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals. Learn about strategies employers of all sizes in various industries have used to express a commitment to disability inclusion.

7 Ways to Express a Commitment to Workplace Disability Inclusion

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Expressing a commitment to disability inclusion is a key first step in fostering an inclusive workplace culture.
  1. Develop and communicate policy statements and other illustrations of the company’s commitment to inclusion of workers with disabilities. For example, “Business is becoming increasingly global. As [COMPANY NAME] continues to expand, our differences—from our culture and work habits, communication style and personal preferences—are becoming even more essential to our business strategy. We are working hard to create an environment in which all employees are valued and respected, including those with disabilities.” 
  2. Establish an enterprise-wide team consisting of executives, managers and employees with disabilities to support and advance the recruiting, hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities. This team may also function as a disability-focused employee resource group (ERG) or affinity group.
  3. Make (and publicize) the “business case” (PDF) for hiring people with disabilities. For example, framing the issue in communication with managers, leadership, etc. in terms of return on investment and direct and indirect benefits to the company and its employees, such as higher productivity, lower absenteeism and turnover, and increased employee morale.
  4. Include disability as part of all of the company’s diversity policies and activities. This includes using the words “disability” and “people with disabilities” in statements defining the company’s diversity policies, inviting disability organizations and people with disabilities to the company’s diversity events, and recognizing that people with disabilities are part of the company’s other diverse communities (including racial and ethnic minorities, veterans and the LGBTQ+ community).
  5. Affirm in policy statements the company’s commitment to equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities and taking affirmative steps to recruit, hire, retain and advance workers with disabilities at all levels.
  6. Encourage employees with disabilities, and their coworkers and managers, to identify barriers and individual and systemic concerns without fear of retribution, and offer mechanisms to allow them to provide this information anonymously or confidentially.
  7. Establish a universal policy offering workplace flexibility and accommodations for all applicants and employees, with and without disabilities, including the use of telework options if appropriate.

Phases of Employment

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