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If you’re running a business – small, medium-sized or large – you should check out Think Beyond the Label’s Hire Gauge. I would argue it’s a must. Hire Gauge is the first-ever online tool to calculate the return on the investment (ROI) your organization can generate from hiring qualified workers with disabilities. For a typical large business, this can mean nearly $32,000 in tax credits, deductions and hiring cost savings – not to mention the additional benefits of diversity in the workplace, from employee morale and loyalty to the opportunity to tap new markets. All you need is two minutes (literally) to answer a short series of questions. Right before your eyes, Hire Gauge does the math on the results you can expect from your inclusive hiring initiatives. Right down to the dollar. More and more business are using Hire Gauge Think Beyond the Label says they built this interactive ... keep reading »
This is a question I am often asked: Does the shaky economy make it harder for people with disabilities to find a job? Undoubtedly, yes. The job marketplace is more competitive, and frankly, it’s easier for an employer to hire someone who doesn’t need an accommodation. Though the American with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination of the disabled, it still happens indirectly — and more so when the hiring pool is larger. Just look at U.S. employment rates from the past year. Only 46 percent of working-age people with disabilities held jobs, vs. 84 percent of non-disabled people. The national unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 12.9 percent in April 2009, compared to 8.6 percent for non-disabled Americans. And here’s a little-known fact: It takes someone with a disability 10 times longer to land a job than the average person. “Employers want to hire people with disabilities but they’re often not trained ... keep reading »
Last August, the US Chamber of Commerce, an association of three million businesses, sent a letter to Congress opposing a bill that would amend the Americans with Disabilities Act. Calling it an essential “re-writing” of the Act, the Chamber said it believed such changes would open the floodgates for litigation by “virtually all of the entire working population in the United States ” who believed they may have been discriminated against due to disability. “The bill would change the definition of ‘disability’ so that any individual with an impairment — such as poor eyesight correctible by wearing glasses — would be considered disabled and would trigger the employer’s duty to accommodate them.” I wrote about disability discrimination litigation for BusinessWeek Online. In a famous 2002 case, Toyota v. Williams, the Supreme Court sided with Toyota Motor Manufacturing, which refused to tailor a job for an assembly-line worker who claimed she developed ... keep reading »
In the New York Times Sunday Magazine’s “Unintended Consequences” (Jan. 20, 2008), authors Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt pose the argument that some “special-interest” laws, such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), may hurt the very people it intended to benefit. Dubner and Levitt, who are also the authors of the best-selling book “Freakonomics” and a blog of the same name, give a qualitative and quantitative example supporting their case. First up: A Deaf patient from Los Angeles sought medical advice and treatment for her knee from Dr. Andrew Brooks. She asked the doctor to hire and pay for a sign language interpreter, and told him that she was well within her rights to do so under the ADA. Brooks agreed to pay, but surmised that he’d lose money by treating the patient: “As it turned out, an interpreter would cost $120 an hour, with a two-hour minimum, and ... keep reading »

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