Disability Solutions Online Career Center is Changing Minds and Changing Lives

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Job Board Marks One Year of Connecting Employers with Talent with Disabilities Across the Country.

Disability Solutions nonprofit consulting service helped to implement Pepsi ACT (Achieving Change Together) in nine cities across the U.S. with close to 300 employees with disabilities hired.

More than 300,000 people with disabilities visit the site every month to find careers with outstanding companies.

As top employers strive to diversify their workforce, they frequently turn to niche job boards to attract diverse talent as a key component of their recruiting strategy. While there are a many opportunities for reaching multiple diversity groups, there have been limited options focused on reaching talent with disabilities.

In response, Disability Solutions, a nonprofit consulting service that creates inclusion strategies for national companies, launched its own online Career Center one year ago. Today, more than 300,000 people with disabilities, including veterans, visit the site every month to find a career that is the perfect fit for their skills.

“Employers face challenges striking the right balance between meeting their federal compliance obligations, improving their position in a competitive job market, and having a positive impact. They simply don’t know where to start,” explained Julie Sowash, Senior Consultant for Disability Solutions. “Advertising on our Career Center provides employers a quick start platform, with many options for establishing or strengthening their talent brand among the national talent pool of people with disabilities.”

The national unemployment rate varies each month, but what has not varied is that the unemployment rate of people with disabilities is approximately double the overall population.

Sowash notes that by posting job opportunities on the Disability Solutions Career Center, businesses can attract qualified applicants with disabilities, as well as demonstrate OFCCP compliance. Furthermore, Sowash knows the power of employer branding and talent value messaging in the disability community. “We want to hear a message about our value to your company; hiring us is not an act of charity,” says Sowash, who herself has a mental health disability. When employees and jobseekers believe a company wants to hire great talent with disabilities, increased self-disclosure and employee referrals will follow.

“Our Career Center is a great way for an organization to begin building a new pipeline of talent with a variety of skill, experience, and education levels,” said Sowash. “Our ultimate mission is to change employers’ minds about the talent value of our community and to change the lives of people with disabilities who find careers with outstanding companies. We establish inclusive hiring as a standard way of business and culture in the workplace. We have outcomes data that demonstrates this to be a business value proposition placing a high talent value in this untapped pool of talent.”

This month Disability Solutions and employers across the country are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Although a year round business priority, October is as an opportune time to learn about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

The 2017 NDEAM theme of “Inclusion Drives Innovation” speaks to the diverse and unique perspectives that employees with disabilities bring to any workforce. The market of disability consumers has an annual spending power in the U.S. alone of over 645 billion dollars. The broader market, including the spending power of family and allies, is over 4 trillion dollars annually. Like other diverse communities, the consumers in the disability market make buying decisions based on a company’s action (or inaction) in both hiring people with disabilities and having accessible products and services. Employees with disabilities can lend their voice and perspective to inform advertising and product development, strengthening young and established companies.

“We encourage organizations of all sizes to use the NDEAM observance to launch year-round activities that highlight the importance of including disability in all of the organization's diversity endeavors. Doing so delivers numerous internal and external benefits to employers,” added Sowash.

Beyond connecting jobseekers with disabilities with employment opportunities through the Career Center, posted jobs are shared through Disability Solutions’ wide social networks of jobseekers. Said Sowash, ”The companies we work with are seeing real results. The Career Center is one of the many ways employers can reach talent. We partner with major corporations across industries and across the world including PepsiCo, Synchrony Financial, American Express, Staples, Office Depot Max, Aon, and Aramark to develop and implement a strategic approach to attracting, hiring and promoting talent with disabilities for their talent needs. This month we celebrate NDEAM as we work year round to change minds and change lives through inclusion. “

Founded in 2012, Disability Solutions is the national non-profit consulting division of Ability Beyond headquartered in Bethel, Connecticut. Disability Solutions focuses on helping corporations tap new channels for qualified talent, manage culture change, respond to a changing regulatory environment, and strengthen their workforce through diversity. To learn more visit: http://www.disabilitytalent.org/ or for more information about the Career Center, please visit http://www.disabilitysolutionstalent.org.

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