Employer Information for Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
The information here is for employers interested in giving job experience and people in the IDD population interested in acquiring job experience. Some employees may require additional training and accommodations to assist with doing their job tasks or enhance their learning. Due to various difficulties, employers must consider these difficulties. Below are questions to consider for working with the IDD population, training, and accommodations to build a more independent and inclusive environment.
- What is an intellectual disability?
Recognizing and understanding the different intellectual disabilities that are present can create positive solutions. Changing the perspectives of potential employees with intellectual disabilities and familiarizing yourself with what resources are available are essential for creating a more inclusive workplace and community. Below are some resources where you can learn more about intellectual disabilities.
- How can I accommodate those with an intellectual disability?
Accommodation begins with the employee with disabilities requesting accommodations. Recognizing what accommodations are reasonable is key for a productive workplace. Gathering the information for recognizing people’s needs demonstrates good morals and efforts for resolving workplace conflicts. Below are resources available for accommodating someone with an intellectual disability.
- How can I make things easier if someone is having difficulty understanding directions or completing a task?
Use simple and concise language when explaining directions. Demonstrate the task instead of explaining. Be patient and allow additional time. Modify work schedule/environment.
These are additional tools that are beneficial when hiring someone with IDD.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides information on how to properly obtain, use, and disclose medical information. In addition, it provides specific examples for employers on how they can accommodate those with intellectual disabilities.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) explores the different types of intellectual disabilities, HR’s role in accommodations, supervision procedures, and improving employee relations in the workplace.
The U.S. Department of Labor created Focus on Ability: Interviewing Applicants with Disabilities as a tool for the employer. While providing information to those with disabilities on important information for interviews, it is just as important to educate employers on how to interact during the interview. This webpage provides information on appropriate interactions and equitable treatment for these applicants.
The University of Wisconsin: Employee Disability Resource Office created Job Interview: Disability-Related Questions as a quick, to-the-point resource on questions that are and are not allowed for an employer to ask during an interview. There are explanations and exceptions at the bottom of the page to better help guide the employer as he or she prepares for an interview with an applicant in the IDD population.
The Ask Jan website (www.askjan.org) is perfect for researching all the different and effective accommodations, strategies, and tips for people of all disabilities.
Employer Resources & FAQs
Below are snapshots and resources for employers working with a person with a disability.
- “62% of adults with ID employed in a competitive setting have been at their current job for 3 years or more.”
- “81% of adults with ID employed in a sheltered setting have been at their current job for 3 years or more.
- Statement of importance
- 89% of employers of individuals with intellectual disabilities reported DEPENDABILITY
- 88% of employers of individuals with intellectual disabilities reported ENGAGEMENT
- 87% of employers of individuals with intellectual disabilities reported INTEGRATION WITH CO-WORKERS
- 79% of employers of individuals with intellectual disabilities reported WORK QUALITY
- I'm considering hiring someone with a disability. What do I need to know?
- What are employers of people with disabilities saying?
- Does saying I’m interested mean I have to hire someone?
- What tax breaks are available for employing a person with a disability?
- What are common accommodations that a person with an intellectual or developmental disability needs?
- Who can I talk to if I want to learn more?
Page last updated October 21, 2022