White House Announces New Disability Resource Guide

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A new resource guide for employers to use in working with individuals with disabilities is now available.  The new guide, available here and called Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining and Promoting People with Disabilities, was announced by the White House last week and is the product of a cross-agency initiative to increase equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Although authored primarily by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the guide includes participation from the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Justice, and others.

As a quick reference tool, employers will likely find this guide helpful.  It provides answers to several frequently asked questions and suggests best practices for employers to use when hiring individuals with disabilities and maintaining those individuals over the course of the employment relationship. Perhaps most useful, however, the guide includes embedded links to other materials with additional information, including agency-specific materials produced by the EEOC and Department of Labor.

In announcing the new guide, the White House noted that 56.7 million Americans, or 19% of the American population, live with a disability.  Given the expanded definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, that number is not likely to decrease.  Employers may therefore find this guide a useful additional tool in their efforts to remain educated on disability-related employment issues.