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Embracing the concept of an inclusive workplace – 3 tips for employers

The most recent edition of HR Professional magazine features “The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace”, in which Anne Lamont, President & CEO of Career Edge Organization, is interviewed among other business leaders committed to addressing the employment barriers faced by many persons with disabilities.

Throughout the article, Anne offers insights and guidance related to some of the myths and stereotypes associated with creating an inclusive workplace. Most notably, Anne encourages employers to focus on employees’ abilities rather than their disabilities, saying, “If you bring someone into a supportive environment, it demystifies the discussion around a disability.”

Having witnessed many success stories from Career Edge Organization’s Ability Edge paid internship program, Anne says that in her experience, Ability Edge interns with self-declared disabilities have managed their disabilities exceptionally well and have a strong commitment to succeed with their employer of choice. To leverage and support the hiring of persons with disabilities entering the workforce, Anne offers the following three tips to employers looking to create an accessible and inclusive recruitment process:

  1. Accessible job applications: Rather than accepting pen and paper job application forms, digital alternatives can be much more accessible to people with visual impairments or whose disability may limit their ability to use a pen or pencil.
  2. Create an environment for interview success: Interviews can be intimidating, especially for candidates that are also managing a disability. Providing interview questions in advance can support candidates in communicating their abilities, qualifications, and accomplishments.
  3. Focus on abilities: Be realistic in understanding if accommodations are required to support an employee’s abilities. This means:
  • ensuring that job roles clearly set out responsibilities and outcomes, and
  • being open to a respectful discussion with the candidate to determine what reasonable accommodation is required to achieve results.
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