I’ve talked before about efforts to employ people with Asperger’s. But perhaps no Autism-related effort will be bigger than one announced today by SAP, simply because SAP, with 200,000+ customers, is just so big.
SAP says it’ll be hiring autistic software testers, programmers, and data-quality-assurance specialists. It’s going to do it through a partnership with Specialisterne, a Denmark-based firm operating in Europe and the U.S.
SAP had used the organization, where a majority of employees have autism or a related diagnosis, to do a pilot project in India and Ireland. U.S., Canada, and Germany will be on the docket next.
Specialisterne Founder Thorkil Sonne says “SAP is the first multinational company to partner with us on a global scale.” He expects others to follow its lead.
The U.S. EEOC has some new documents out that help when recruiting and selecting people with disabilities.
The info covers cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. keep reading…
The U.S. Labor Department is launching a media campaign to encourage kids who have disabilities to not give up on their career aspirations.
The government is running a public service announcement (which I’ve embedded at the bottom of this post) on more than 1,400 TV stations, some in English, some in Spanish.
The effort is a collaboration with several organizations, including SHRM as well as the U.S. Business Leadership Network. keep reading…
There’ve been events focused on veteran hiring, and those aimed at hiring people with disabilities — but one upcoming, one of the first of its kind, is aimed at a combination of the two.
The October 31 online event is put on by ON24 and Veteran Recruiting Services, with two U.S. government departments – Labor and Veteran Affairs — also involved.
Lowe’s, Intuit, and Waste Management are among the employers expected to participate.
A new “toolkit” from the Department of Labor in the United States collates case studies, websites, links, white papers, and more, on the topic of workplace flexibility and work/life balance.
The resources were put together by two Labor Department offices, one related to disabilities, as well as the Women’s Bureau. It’s divvied up by audience — employee, employer, policy-maker, and researcher.
A quick update on some of those disabilities-related grants we mentioned over the summer: three winners have been announced, all related to helping the employment prospects of people with disabilities.
Honorees include a job search engine, a way to assist people with speech impediments, and a content management system.
The U.S. EEOC is holding training programs to explain disabilities rules better. The one-day workshops in September will be in Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami.
The morning will go over issues like leave, scheduling, telecommuting, and job descriptions. In the afternoon, the program will cover things like how the ADA and the FMLA intertwine, as well as “Accommodation Mysteries Solved and Disability Etiquette.”
Those interested can sign up here.
The U.S. Labor Department has a number of new grants it’s soliciting related to the employment of people with disabilities.
Despite the ADA, tax credits, and the good work of JAN, the U.S. unemployment rate for people with disabilities is around 13%. Worse is that many people with disabilities aren’t reflected in that statistic because they’ve left the workforce altogether. (The federal government also keeps track of the number of people with disabilities in its own workforce.)
Today is the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act for the 57 million people with a disability living in America — or one in five Americans. Let me talk about where we’ve come so far and why success is still not fully realized. keep reading…
As online recruiting sites get more complex, they can get harder to read for people who can’t see, as well as others who use “screen readers” because of challenges with their arms or other disabilities.
It doesn’t have to be that way, says Corbb O’Connor, a web usability consultant with O’Consulting Group. In the video below, O’Connor talks about:
- Why video and slick images aren’t always a bad thing for the blind
- The problem with contacting a company and asking for special help reading the site
- What he’s finding on corporate career sites vs. job boards
- Craigslist and LinkedIn
- Simple things to keep in mind when designing sites
It’s about 10 minutes, below. keep reading…
Stress, hair parts, offer rejections, Groupon’s job seekers, background checking, and disabilities — we weigh in on all of them in today’s roundup.
Speaking of weight: the world’s people weigh a collective 316 million tons, of which 17 million tons is in excess globs of body fat. Who knew? Thanks to the researchers at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, now you do.
Wondering what this has to do with recruiting? Nothing, near as we can tell. (Oh, sure, we could have said hiring a fatty will mean time wasted snacking, since the average American needs almost 250 calories just to maintain the excess weight.) But we just thought this is great water cooler talk.
Now, here’s the skinny (no, we couldn’t, can’t, and won’t resist punning): North America has 6 percent of the world’s population, but carries 34 percent of the weight. Don’t go blaming Canada. The U.S. weighs in as the heaviest nation, where it takes a mere 12.2 adults to equal a ton. From now on, we’re counting how many people get on the elevator with us.
Food Stylists Are to Blame
It’s not our fault we eat too much. If those food stylists didn’t make all those dishes look so delicious, who’d eat them? It’s an up-and-coming profession that’s part of the seven awesomeist jobs we never heard of, says Brazen Careerist, a carer site for the under-30s.
For those suffering from insomnia now around 2 a.m. Eastern, we’ve dug through a U.S. government website to find a 172-page document that may help you sleep — or, if you’re a federal contractor, could possibly keep you up at night.
The draft of the proposed rules, to be printed later today (Friday the 9th), would create a big new set of rules related to hiring people with disabilities. keep reading…
Falguni Chitalia, a native of India, speaks three languages and holds a degree from Rutgers. She also has cerebral palsy that has affected her speech and limited the use of her left hand.
She struggled to earn a living, for a time clerking at Wal-Mart. But her goal was to find work as a professional in a career that could allow her to be independent. With the assistance of Virginia’s Department of Rehabilitative Service, Chitalia received job counseling and speech therapy.
Today, she is a project manager with Anthem Wellpoint and was recently lauded in the company newsletter.
Her story is but one of dozens being cited as examples of the success disabled workers can have when, with a little assistance from the government, employers reach out to the disability community.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Labor is taking the lead in promoting the month around the theme of “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities.” Managed by the DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the month-long campaign to build awareness of the contributions of the disabled includes the posting of stories like Chitalia’s, as well as lending support to state and local efforts to increase the hiring of disabled workers. keep reading…
It has been tried in Denmark and now near Chicago: hiring and training people with Asperger’s — a form of autism — to work on detail-oriented tasks where they excel.
Brenda Weitzberg is the founder of Aspiritech, which is offering services to employers looking for test software, hardware, websites, applications, and computer bugs, using her staff of Asperger’s employees.
On the podcast below, Weitzberg talks about employing people with Asperger’s. Also on the line is another expert: Barbara Bissonnette. She specializes in coaching and advocacy services for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome, and consults with employers about how to get the most out of these employees. keep reading…
I feel so lucky that I am still working after 27 years with it and love every day I am alive.
Yesterday, my blog featured an interview of Jon Gundersgaard, a 30-year veteran of the HR/Staffing Industry. Jon’s compelling life story as someone who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has been in a wheelchair since 1995 initiated a discussion with friend and mentor (pictured at right), Gerry Crispin, Chief Navigator at CareerXroads. Jon’s depiction of a life well lived, and intense productivity as a valued member of his staffing organization, missing work only six months in the last 30 years was provocative. Here was a perfect personification of an industrious, talented element of today’s workforce who served as a critical member of his team and was a productive contributor to society as a whole — despite a serious malady. As a paraplegic, his disability was a sidenote, to an otherwise determined approach to keeping his sourcing and recruiting skills up-to-date with the latest techniques and tools available. The story speaks likewise to a broader workforce effected by blindness, deafness, and other differently-abled categories. keep reading…
Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act that take effect New Year’s Day will broaden the scope of those covered and expand the very definition of disability. One of the country’s foremost employment and labor law firms says the “ADA Amendments Act will mean a massive change for most of the country’s employers.”
“More workers will be defined as disabled,” says Myra Creighton, partner in the Atlanta office of labor firm Fisher & Phillips. That will almost undoubtedly mean that more workers will be requesting some form of accommodation for their disability.
Where previously a diabetic or someone with ADD whose condition is controlled by medication was probably not disabled under the prevailing court decisions, now the amendments make clear that they probably are. The amendments loosen up the definition of disability and eliminate consideration of the effect of medication, prosthetics, hearing aids, and the like. That means a person is to be considered disabled whether or not any form of treatment or corrective device (with the exception of glasses and contacts) is used to control or ameliorate the condition.
However, for recruiters and hiring managers, the impact is likely to be more subtle.
I’m “sick and tired” of having to explain just how much disabled people deserve to work, can work, and want to work, a high-level U.S. Labor Department official says.
Neil Romano, assistant secretary, office of disability policy, told the ILG conference today that people still believe the myth that disabled people are receiving plenty of money and don’t need to work. On the contrary, Romano argues: the disabled are innovators who crave the chance at developing products others may not have thought of.
“The marginalization of people with disabilities starts very, very early,” Romano said, speaking from personal experience as a dyslexic. He said every job he has ever received has been from word of mouth, because his disability prevented him from successfully and correctly applying for jobs. “I completely messed up the health care forms at the Department of Labor — so much so that I wasn’t covered for two months,” he jokes. (Romano also tells the endearing story of when he called his mother to tell her the White House nominated him to his job, only to hear his mother respond, “do they know you can’t spell?”)
Disabilities are a running theme of this year’s ILG, with many speakers arguing that disabled job candidates are the next wave of diversity, the next band of talent largely shut out of the workplace, as women and blacks once were.
Disaboom has teamed up with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation to help combat-wounded and disabled veterans. Disaboom says it’ll hire virtual agent graduates of the Purple Heart Service Foundation’s job training program, “Veterans Business Training Center.”
All training grads are home-bound, combat-wounded, or disabled veterans, fully skilled in call center and contact center technology, and all have successfully completed an online training program offered through the Purple Heart Service Foundation and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
A new national job board, dedicated to connecting disabled workers and employers, launched this week featuring 118 job postings from two sponsoring New Jersey employers. AccessibleEmployment.org is a non-profit venture financed through the New Jersey Business Leadership Network and the Henry H. Kessler Foundation. The goal is to have the job board become a national resource for employers seeking to hire disabled workers and disabled workers seeking employment, according to Dan Honig, COO for the organization.
“So many people with disabilities are able to work, but they are largely being ignored by employers,” says Honig. “The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are over 30 million disabled workers between the ages of 16 to 64, but only 18 million are currently employed. Over 70% of disabled workers have hidden disabilities, but of those declaring their disabilities, the average cost of the reasonable accommodation is anywhere from $200 to $600. We think that this workforce offers financial advantages to employers.”
Honig points out that some disabled workers are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, which provides health insurance cost savings for employers, and also that employers may be eligible for tax credits when they hire a disabled worker.
The U.S. Department of Labor has made available to employers nationwide a free database of approximately 2,000 new job candidates with disabilities seeking work in a wide variety of fields.
This means that federal employers can now use a password-protected online resource any time.
Private sector and other government employers can request unlimited searches by calling (866) 327-6669.