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People always seem impressed when I tell them I’m a certified disability-owned business enterprise. Because abledbody is owned by me, and I’m profoundly deaf, and have satisfied the requirements of being a legitimate business owner, the U.S. Business Leadership Network gave me certification back in 2010. I have to reapply for it every year, and let me tell you, it’s worth it. When I first applied there were two major reasons to get certified, and now, there’s a third. First, being a DOBE means you can add your company into a USBLN-member’s supply chain system, which is how large companies source for goods and services. USBLN’s members are mostly large corporations like Southwest Airlines, WellPoint, Merck, Marriott and more. They convene every October at the USBLN’s annual conference, which will be held at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World by Marriott this year for workshops and sessions around disability inclusion in ... keep reading »
On the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a Senator from Iowa has penned a report — and action plan — to get more jobs for people with disabilities. Sen. Tom Harkin, who is known for his longtime advocacy for people with disabilities, told the Huffington Post he plans to use his power in Washington to “make the issue of disability employment a national priority.” As chair of the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, Harkin released a report that lays out the bare (and well-known) facts: People with disabilities participate in the workforce at a rate far lower than any other group, including women, African-Americans and Latinos. Workers with disabilities also left the labor force during the 2008 recession at a rate five times faster than workers without disabilities. The Senator wants to change the landscape, starting with the public sector, which has promised hiring ... keep reading »
­Alright, you’ve taken the time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete. You’ve made a concerted effort to keep all questionable photos and comments off of your Facebook page. You’re even following and networking with all of the right people on Twitter. You are truly a social media rock star. But now that you have to sit in front of an actual human, you’re petrified. You have no idea what to wear or how to wear it. Well, don’t fret, I’m here to help. Here are five of the most asked questions I receive about dressing for interviews when you have a seated body type. 1. When does the interview begin? The interview begins the moment the interviewer sees you. Like it or not your interviewer consults your appearance to get clues into your work ethic. Your hair, nails, and shoes tell the interviewer if you’re detail oriented. If your clothing ... keep reading »
The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a move it calls necessary for helping more people with disabilities get hired amid a dismal unemployment rate: A new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of 7% for the employment of people with disabilities. The new rule, if passed into law, would strengthen Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that obligates federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities. Up until now, there has not been a clearly defined rule in place, though companies that do business with the government have to show evidence of taking proactive steps to recruit workers with disabilities. With four out of five workers with disabilities outside of the labor force, the Labor Dept. recognizes it has some work to do, starting with laws that can be enforced for the some 200,000 businesses ... keep reading »
Think Beyond the Label today launched an online jobs portal that connects job seekers with disabilities to employers, including those that are actively seeking to hire them. The job-search engine gives candidates with disabilities access to 860,000 jobs listings from large and small employers that have been “vetted”. With a nearly 15% unemployment rate among working-age Americans with disabilities, Think Beyond the Label hopes its jobs portal will promote disability employment opportunities, help grow the pipeline of qualified job candidates with disabilities, and meet businesses’ hiring needs. Full disclosure: I consult for Think Beyond the Label. I’m also keenly tuned into the job-search landscape for people with disabilities, and I’m not certain that search engines that index jobs across corporate websites will ever be the best way to land a job. Period. However, the real value in Think Beyond the Label’s new portal is in making employers aware that they can recruit ... keep reading »
By Suzanne Robitaille - UPDATED - This morning I received a call from Kathleen Lee, who works in Human Resources at Earnworks, which is housed at Cornell University’s Institute of Labor Relations. Lee called in response to my submission last night looking for an intern for abledbody.com. I had been unsure about whether anyone was going to get back to me, and was thrilled to hear from Earnworks so quickly. Lee asked me a few questions about my needs for an online publishing intern, and says she is going to look into students and recent grads at Connecticut-area schools to see if there’s a match. Lee’s source is the Department of Labors’ newly launched database of more than 2,500 college and entry-level students with disabilities, which is part of the government’s efforts to increase federal and private-sector initiatives to source and hire workers with disabilities. The program supports President Obama’s executive order ... keep reading »

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