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Support through Mentorship: Accessible Supervision of Employees with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Institute Brief Issue No. 29 July 2013

Effective supervision of employees with intellectual or developmental disabilities can be challenging for businesses that may not have experience in hiring people with diverse support requirements. This is largely due to the relatively low participation rates of people with disabilities in the workforce. This is, thankfully, changing as more businesses are seeing the value of diversifying their workforce, which includes hiring people with diverse cognitive abilities like people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers

The National Center on Workforce Development/Adult (NCWD/A), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), undertook a one-year project that examined practices and strategies implemented by U.S. companies seeking to recruit and retain older workers. This brief presents themes that emerged from phone conversations with employees at 18 companies in 13 states. Five of those companies subsequently participated in more in-depth, in-person visits. NCWD/A staff held phone conversations with human resource or diversity program representatives; during in-person visits, researchers had discussions with a wide range of informants, from company leadership to frontline supervisors/managers and older workers themselves. This brief presents the motivational factors that drove companies to focus on older workers, the cultural contexts of businesses that have undertaken these practices, and the range of recruitment and retention practices and initiatives they used. Researchers offer suggestions to employers on the relevance of the findings to their own workplace practices, initiatives, and cultures.

Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Application to People with Disabilities

The National Center on Workforce Development/Adult (NCWD/A), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), undertook a one-year project that examined practices and strategies implemented by U.S. companies seeking to recruit and retain older workers. This brief presents themes that emerged from phone conversations with employees at 18 companies in 13 states. Five of those companies subsequently participated in more in-depth, in-person visits. NCWD/A staff held phone conversations with human resource or diversity program representatives; during in-person visits, researchers had discussions with a wide range of informants, from company leadership to frontline supervisors/managers and older workers themselves. This brief identifies strategies that can benefit both older workers and workers with disabilities. It describes each strategy that companies discussed in relation to older workers and makes a case for its effectiveness in employing workers with disabilities, offering action steps employers can take. The brief ends with recommendations for the disability community to better support businesses to employ people with disabilities. Including these practices in business operations will position employers to become more reflective of their diverse communities and the customers they strive to serve.

Disability and Occupation

Data Note 13, 2007

It is well-documented that people with disabilities have a significantly lower rate of employment than people without disabilities (36% versus 74% according to the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS). Less is known about the types of work they do. Using the occupational classification system within the ACS, researchers explored the prevalence of people with disabilities within occupational groupings and discuss its relationship to occupational growth1. Future analysis will address variation across disability groups.

The New England Council News, Special Edition: Tapping the Underutilized Workforce

Developed with The New England Council, this newsletter focuses on an issue for the future that businesses need to start thinking about today: tapping the underutilized workforce. Demographic trends mean that companies will soon be looking for qualified workers in the future. Even now, sectors such as health care are experiencing shortages. People with disabilities can be a significant source of qualified workers. The newsletter includes success stories from companies and their employees with disabilities.

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities