In my job I meet with a variety of people who have experienced various forms of discrimination as a result of being a person with a disability. Many of these individuals who have searched for a job on their own have told me they try to hide their disability or trick a recruiter into taking a second look at their capabilities. When the recruiter is confronted with a person with a visible disability they often backpedal or offer excuses why they don’t wish to pursue the hire.
I defend employers’ right to hire whom they wish. It is important for a company to hire the very best and not be hamstrung with various rules and regulations that make this an impossible task. We have a lot of worker protection laws on the books in addition to Affirmative Action which has its own foibles. On the other hand I have a problem when people with disabilities are rejected without getting a chance. I understand this rejection is most often out of fear – fear of the unknown. Fear is the biggest barrier to employment for individuals with disabilities. This fear is based on a negative or perceived attitude and unfounded myths about individuals with disabilities and their ability to work.
The Americans with Disabilities was signed into law 22 years ago. On the eve of the ADA’s anniversary I wonder how far we have come or, more germane to this discussion, how far we haven’t. Justin Dart, father of the ADA and great orator, used “Liberty and Justice for All” as his tag line. It makes me ponder how free individuals with disabilities are and how just are they treated in these great United States of America when employers discount a person before they have had a chance to prove themselves.
There are great resources available to assist businesses in employing individuals with disability including http://www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com/ which is an excellent resource for business to use when considering hiring an individual with a disability. And, of course, Morningside is ready to information and assistance for employers. To hear directly from employers on the subject try our YouTube web channel: www.youtube.com/user/morningsideservices?feature=results or our website: http://www.morningsideservices.com/. Look for the Videos box to hear employers tell their own stories. You will discover that hiring an individual with a disability is a sound business decision that will be beneficial to your business!
CEO Viewpoint is published by Jim Larson, CEO Morningside
This space is intended to share my thoughts and update the community on issues concerning Morningside and its clients as well sharing inspirational employment stories.
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