I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
I had the honor of co-presenting on topic of Employment First before the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. As I have written a number of times throught the years, I believe that community based employment at competitive wages should be the number one option for individuals with disabilities.
I thought I would share with you a handout that I prepared that helps dispell some rumors about individuals with disabilities in the work place. I also have some links from the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Small Business Administration, as well as the IRS and the Department of Labor that show that a number of organizations believe that individuals with disabilities should be employed in the community and have a a number of years.
A qualified individual with a disability is an employee or job applicant who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of a position that he or she holds or seeks. The person must also be able to perform the "essential" functions of the position, either with or without reasonable accommodation.
Many myths persist about the capacity of individuals with disabilities, and many employers unfairly screen out people with disabilities with job requirements that are inconsistent with the actual necessities of the work.
1) Myth: Hiring employees with disabilities increases workers compensation insurance rates.
Fact: Insurance rates are based solely on the relative hazards of the operation and the organization’s accident experience, not on whether workers have disabilities.
2) Myth: Providing accommodations for people with disabilities is expensive.
Fact: The majority of workers with disabilities do not need accommodations to perform their jobs, and for those who do, the cost is usually minimal. In fact, two-thirds of accommodations cost less than $500, with many costing nothing at all. And available tax incentives make it even easier for businesses to cover accessibility costs.
3) Myth: ADA forces employers to hire unqualified individuals with disabilities.
Fact: Unqualified candidates are not protected under the ADA. To be protected from discrimination in hiring, an individual must first meet all requirements for a job and be able to perform its essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.
4) Myth: Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities.
Fact: Studies by firms such as DuPont show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.
5) Myth: Under the ADA an employer cannot fire an employee who has a disability. Fact: Employers can fire workers with disabilities under three conditions: 1) The termination is unrelated to the disability, 2) The employee does not meet legitimate requirements for the job, such as performance or production standards, with or without a reasonable accommodation, and 3) Because of the employee’s disability, he or she poses a direct threat to health or safety in the workplace.
(Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce report: July 24, 2013 “Leading Practices on Disability Inclusion” https://www.uschamber.com/leading-practices-disability-inclusion-0
U.S. Small Business Administration: Hiring People with Disabilities
U.S. Department of Labor: Hiring People with Disabilities
Tax Benefits for businesses that have employees with disabilities http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/hiring.htm
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development