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Hiring People with Disabilities

Evolve Your Workforce

Did you know that 87% of the public prefers to support businesses who hire people with disabilities? Click on the tabs below to learn how to be innovative, get a return on your investment, and find the talent you need. 

Step 1: Get the Facts

Hiring People with Disability will cost me money.

Businesses can qualify for up to $7,400 in federal tax credits when hiring people with disability.
Hiring disabled workers increases workers compensation insurance rates.

Insurance rates are based solely on the relative hazards of the operation and the organization's accident experience, not on whether an employer has hired workers with disabilities.

Providing accommodations for people with disabilities is expensive.

Did you know that for the minority of workers with disabilities who do need some sort of special equipment or accommodation, 56% of these cost less than $600, with many costing nothing at all? Visit the Links tab for more information on JAN.

Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities.

Studies by firms such as DuPont show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.

Want More? Visit the Links tab to read more myths vs. facts from Think Beyond the Label External link opens in a new window.

Step 2: Getting Started

Recruiting people with disabilities is easier than you think. There are plenty of people ready and willing to work; it's just a matter of letting them know you're looking. Below are some simple, yet very effective recruiting suggestions you may want to consider:
  • Use the Job Description Writer External link opens in a new windowto build a meaningful job description with a focus on ability.
  • Include a physical demand section to ensure that the applicant can handle the rigors of the position. Read more External link opens in a new window!
  • Make job announcements available in alternate formats, such as large print, audiotape, or Braille.
  • Make sure your company website is accessible. Click here External link opens in a new windowto find out.
  • Make your workplace accessible.
  • Send all your vacancy announcements to disability-related organizations.
  • Mention your interest in receiving applications from people with disabilities.
  • Participate in job fairs, conferences and meetings sponsored by local disability-related groups.
  • Volunteer to serve on boards of disability groups.

Visit the Links Tab for ways to connect.

Step 3: Finding Talent

Recruiting Resources:
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN External link opens in a new window) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, and retain qualified employees with disabilities.
  • EARN assists in matching these pre-screened, highly qualified students with private and public sector jobs. If you have summer internship opportunities or entry-level positions available, please have your hiring manager complete and submit the form at WRP External link opens in a new window Internships.
  • EARN will provide you with resumes of qualified candidates within 3-4 business days.
Post on Job Boards
There are online job boards specifically geared toward job seekers with disabilities. These online job boards are great places to advertise your job announcements.
Visit the Links Tab to access these resources; fees may be associated with job posting.

Find Local Assistance
Use the Disability Services Locator External link opens in a new window on the disabilityworks website to find the help you need. The Work Incentive Planning Assistance program helps individuals who receive SSI or SSDI, and are interested in getting a job, understand how working will affect their benefits.

  • A person eligible for the Ticket-to-Work program is entitled to WIPA counseling.
  • WIPA information and services are available by appointment only.
  • Other organizations offering resources or services to people with disabilities are also provided.

Step 4: Interviewing People with Disabilities

Hiring Managers can use the tips presented in this document  Link opens in a new window to make the most out of your interview process.

Visit the Videos Tab for more information about interviewing people with disabilities. Use the Employer Tool Kit External link opens in a new windowto get stared!

Step 5: Hiring Incentives

Incentives for small and medium-sized businesses make tapping into the disability community an attractive recruiting strategy. There are three tax incentives available to help employers cover accommodation costs for employees or customers with disabilities.

The Small Business Tax Credit
Businesses can take advantage of two Federal tax incentives available to help cover costs of making access improvements for customers with disabilities. Click here External link opens in a new windowfor details (PDF).

Architectural and Transportation Tax Deduction
All businesses are eligible to take an annual deduction for expenses incurred to remove physical, structural, and transportation (i.e. vehicle-related) barriers for persons with disabilities at the workplace. Visit the Links Tab for details.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit
The WOTC helps American workers with barriers to employment benefit from the creation of effective regional economic development strategies, and create high performance workplaces. Click here for more information External link opens in a new window.

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Illinois workNet Centers are an equal opportunity employer/program. At Illinois workNet Centers, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment by calling TTY (800) 785-6055 or 711.