Job Seekers with Disabilities Seek Targeted Outreach from Employers and Online Job Search Tools, says New Think Beyond The Label Survey

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Career fairs, mentoring and networking also top list of wants; majority are concerned about disclosure

Professionals with disabilities are eager to work, technologically savvy and want more targeted outreach from companies, according to a new Think Beyond the Label survey.

In the December 2014 survey of 235 professionals with disabilities, respondents also say they use and would like more online job search tools, including ones that are geared to people with disabilities, to help them find meaningful work. Some highlights:

  •     Online job search tools are used by nearly all job seekers with disabilities with LinkedIn as the No. 1 tool, followed by Facebook
  •     Nine out of 10 (92%) would use a job board specifically for people with disabilities
  •     Three-quarters (77%) would like more detailed job leads at online career fairs
  •     More than half seek networking or mentoring opportunities with companies looking to hire them

Despite being highly educated, professionals with disabilities remain largely underemployed, the survey shows. Nearly 60% of respondents do not have a job but are actively looking. Almost all of the respondents have at least some college, post secondary or trade school education.

“The Think Beyond the Label survey shows that job seekers with disabilities look for jobs like anyone else, are less likely to be employed and are looking for unique channels to engage with employers that are actively seeking to hire them, whether it’s a jobs board, online career fair, social media, or through networking and mentoring opportunities,” says Barbara Otto, Principal of Think Beyond the Label.

Job seekers with disabilities say they also would like to be able to speak freely about their disability without fear of not getting the job, and the majority (85%) expressed concerns about disclosing their disability in the workplace.

Around 40% of respondents say they require an accommodation to perform their job, while 35% do not—and nearly one in four (24%) say they do not know if they need an accommodation, suggesting that job seekers would benefit from better information about the range of available accommodations such as assistive technology and flexible work environments.

Think Beyond the Label engages a community of 7,000 qualified job seekers with disabilities and hosts quarterly online career fairs and networking events with top employers across all 50 states. More than 60% of Think Beyond the Label’s registered job seekers have five or more years of relevant job experience, and 35% have more than 10 years of relevant job experience.

“We’re helping businesses create exactly what qualified job seekers with disabilities told us they want—targeted online job search programs and tools, led by employers that are actively looking to hire or build their pipeline of candidates,” adds Otto.

For more details, view the infographic at http://bit.ly/TBTLsurvey.

About Think Beyond the Label
Think Beyond the Label is a cross-sector collaborative that helps businesses and the public workforce system more effectively recruit, hire and retain job seekers with disabilities across 50 states. Think Beyond the Label connects the entire range of job seekers with disabilities to employers looking to hire through its virtual career fairs, online jobs portal, social platforms and community profiles. Our partnership spans state health and human service and employment agencies; businesses; and Health & Disability Advocates, a national private nonprofit organization that manages the Think Beyond the Label partnership. For more information, please visit http://www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com.

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