Did you know that more than one in ten undergraduates across the U.S. (11 percent) has a disability? How about the fact that 83 percent of company executives believe that attracting and retaining talent is an issue for their business?
Well, Getting Hired has been working in partnership with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and we're here to tell you that businesses keen to leverage top talent should not be overlooking undergraduates with disabilities in their onboarding programs.
Why do we need to act now?
It's well documented that industries across the U.S. are calling out for more skilled labor amid a scarcity of talent in many sectors. So, what are the steps to boosting the career prospects for students with disabilities?
Accessing the most talented students with disabilities relies on businesses and academia coming together to support young people in their career goals.
Here are four tips on what companies can do to better engage with this community:
1. Educating careers centers
Businesses and careers centers should partner to establish workplace learning programs, appointing liaisons to engage with students and offering as much assistance as possible to develop learning around jobs and opportunities after graduation.
2. Ensure accessibility of student career resources
Businesses and colleges alike need to ensure they are fully accessible to students with all types of disabilities. This includes all career resources, online job applications, and being prepared to provide technical assistance or an accommodation for the interview process.
According to the PEAT 2015 eRecruiting & Accessibility Report, online job applications is an area where progress continues to be slow, with 58 percent of applicants using employer-provided technical assistance, still unable to complete the job application.
3. Career centers to provide disability-related resources
Career centers are generally utilized by a larger population of students, and not all students may self-disclose their disability or even use the disability center. If there is a career center separate to the disability center, businesses should be sure to provide its employment resources to both.
Having your employment resources for job or internship opportunities at both centers ensures that you are reaching the largest possible population of students with disabilities, and supports your branding as an inclusive employer.
4. Bring together employers and community partners
Finally, business leaders and community partners should come together to integrate disability-focused messaging into all of their recruitment outreach, and utilize one another to promote internship and employment opportunities.
You can find out more about the benefits of onboarding students with disabilities to your organization by following us on LinkedIn for updates and news on disability hiring!