The Business Side of Disability – PART 2

As part of our continued celebration of October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), this is PART 2 of our blog series showcasing the untapped workforce of job seekers with disabilities. In PART 1, we explored the overall value workers with disabilities can bring to your organization, but here we will be exploring how you can attract those employees to apply for open positions at your company.

How to Make Talent Recruitment Accessible

First things first, if someone doesn’t see your job posting, they won’t be able to apply for the position. Posting jobs on the internet may not be enough, as only one in four American adults with a disability report having access to high-speed internet. Try some print or radio postings. If you do post online, be sure to include large graphics and audio descriptions. Another sure-fire way to find a candidate, would be to reach out to community-based organizations like Easterseals or state agencies like the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, as they provide direct employment assistance to job seekers with disabilities. These groups can share your job posting directly with those they represent.

Volunteering or Recruiting?

There are few people who can claim the first job they started in is still the same job they are working today. We try out new jobs, see how they fit, and then move on when it doesn’t work out. That’s why Easterseals provides a Career Exploration Program for people with disabilities. It allows an individual to try out a job and gain first-hand experience about what working in this position is like. This only happens when a business allows Easterseals and their program participants on the job site to try it out. While the individual is there, a hiring manager can evaluate the potential employee to see if they can complete the job tasks as assigned. If it’s a “good fit” for both the business and the individual sampling the job, the business can choose to hire the participant. All of a sudden, a volunteer opportunity has turned into a recruitment opportunity. So a partnership with programs such as these could be a fantastic way to “try before you buy” when it comes to hiring employees with disabilities.

Market to Your Audience

Our final piece of advice surrounds your company’s marketing materials and overall brand presence. It has become standard practice for marketers to include diverse representation in their photo and video content. This most often manifests in showcasing individuals of various races, religions, and genders. What is often missing is representation of people with disabilities. If you feature photos and videos of your staff including people with disabilities, it sends a signal to job seekers that you may be an inclusive work environment. Perhaps show someone using sign language to communicate or show someone handing out a business card with raised braille lettering. These are subtle, yet effective indicators you are ready to speak with a job candidate with a disability.

There’s a labor shortage out there and there are high costs associated with recruitment and retention. To minimize these costs and start hiring from an untapped workforce, we encourage you to try out some of our aforementioned recruitment strategies. In PART 3 of this blog series, we will be focusing on how to make the workplace more accessible for people with disabilities.  

In the meantime, you can check out fascinating statistics and learn more at eastersealsnj.org/NDEAM 

Disability Emojis Bring Us Emojoy!

Disability Emojis

Inclusive Disability Emojis? Yes, please

Inclusive disability emojis are on their way! Everything from prosthetics to service dogs will be represented in these fun new icons. In recent history, emoji’s were released that allowed for representation of multiple skin tones, but there are still limited options available for persons with disabilities. This oversight will be corrected with an impressive variety of new images. The community of persons with disabilities is vast so it would be expected that this first wave of emojis would be limited in what populations they would represent. We have to say that this release exceeded these expectations and is deserving of praise and attention.

Disability Emojis
Some emojis being released are not disability related, but were included in this sample.

We are unsure when this will be released, but as soon as we find out, we’ll update this article. Wheelchair users, blind-low vision, deaf and hearing loss, and prosthetic users will find these icons incredibly useful as soon as the update is implemented. Mobile technology has been a boon to the community of people with disabilities, allowing for increased community connection and even being used as accessible technology (Be My Eyes, Text To Speech, etc.). Having the technology itself also feature communication tools that are representative of those using them, only makes sense and is a welcome change.

Disability Emojis

Representation Matters

We’ve spoken before about the importance of representation for persons with disabilities and special needs in our media and these emojis are no different. Emojis are a staple of digital communication whether they are being used when texting or engaging on social media. Now imagine circling through the selection of emojis and seeing robots, aliens, and even the infamous “poop emoji,” yet you can’t find an emoji that represents you as a human being. What kind of message is that sending to the user? Not a very positive one. So these new icons will be a welcome addition to the roster.

Do you have any suggestions on how electronic communications could be made more accessible? Let us know in the comments below. And as always, if you’re seeking services, visit our main website.

Disability and Winter Weather: Top 5 Tips When Stuck Inside During New Jersey Blizzards

Disability and Winter Weather

Let’s face it, winter in New Jersey isn’t always a wonderland. This is true for every resident, including those who have disabilities or have a child with a disability or special need. Disability and winter weather don’t always mix.

Disability and the winter weather

Read moreDisability and Winter Weather: Top 5 Tips When Stuck Inside During New Jersey Blizzards

Disability / Sensory Friendly Santa is Coming to New Jersey!

Sensory Friendly Santa

Disability / Sensory Friendly Santa is Coming to Town!

We recently highlighted a story on DisabilityScoop.com about sensory friendly Santas holding events that are designed to be accessible for young persons and adults with disabilities. If you have ever attended a traditional gathering of jolly ole’ Saint Nick at your local mall or community center, you will remember the long lines, loud noises, and Santas that might not be exposed to the special needs population. This is usually NOT a sensory/communication friendly experience, but these Santas are looking to change all that.

Read moreDisability / Sensory Friendly Santa is Coming to New Jersey!

Success Story: Mature Worker Goes From Unemployed to a Six-Figure Salary

Mature Workers

It’s a line we hear all too often from hucksters, schemers, and con-men:

“You can go from rags to riches by buying my book and learning my money making secrets!”

They make promises of earning a six-figure salary in 6 months if you give them your money and listen to their advice. We of course know these are scams. But what if I told you I had a story about someone who enrolled in an Easterseals New Jersey program, spent $0 to do so, and ended up leaving the program with a $100,000 salary for a 40/hr. a week job – in under six months? Would you believe me? You should.

Read moreSuccess Story: Mature Worker Goes From Unemployed to a Six-Figure Salary

Disability and Dental Care PART II – All About Dentists

Disability and Dental Care

Welcome to PART II of our dental care and disability blog series, where we break down what you need to know about how to keep good oral hygiene when you or your loved one has a disability. PART I was all about the basics, so if you haven’t checked that out, be sure to take a look. As with the previous article we sat down with  Keith Libou, D.M.D. of Delta Dental of New Jersey to answer all our questions about disability and dental care. This time we are focusing on dentists – how do you get the most out of your visits? How do you choose the right one for you? Let’s dive in so you can make the most of your next visit.

Read moreDisability and Dental Care PART II – All About Dentists

Raising a Child With a Disability – 8 Vital Reminders For Parents

Raising a Child with a Disability

Raising a Child With a Disability

When you’re about to have a child, you prepare for everything. You paint the nursery, you buy the crib and you do a million other things. And no matter how much you prepare, you will never be ready for a child, but you do your best. One thing many parents don’t consider though, is raising a child with a disability. If you aren’t exposed to the world of disability, you might feel lost and unsure what to do next. So, we compiled a list of eight important reminders

Read moreRaising a Child With a Disability – 8 Vital Reminders For Parents

#DisabledAndCute – How Author Keah Brown Is Taking On Negative Body Images, One Word at a Time

Taking on Negative Body-Images

When you read a piece from Keah Brown, you realize a few things. The first is that she is a tremendously talented writer. The second is that she has a unique perspective that brings to life stories and experiences that need to be shared. We were privileged enough to interview her to discuss her thoughts surrounding media, negative body-images, and disability.

Read more#DisabledAndCute – How Author Keah Brown Is Taking On Negative Body Images, One Word at a Time

9 Critical Questions to Ask When Applying to a Special Needs Camp

Special Needs Camp

Easterseals Camp Merry Heart
Easterseals Camp Merry Heart

The flowers have bloomed, the trees are green, and the sun has melted away the last remnants of a brutal winter. The time is ripe, for camp. Now, if you are a person with a disability or a parent/guardian of a person with a disability or special need, you might be a little hesitant to sign up for a special needs camp. You might think the over-night camp experience isn’t “for” you. Well, let’s dispel that myth right now

Read more9 Critical Questions to Ask When Applying to a Special Needs Camp