Workplace Initiative weekly news roundup: November 18, 2019

Here are some highlights from this week’s news about disability inclusion (DI) in the workforce — and how you can use this information to make your company the best it can be.

1. Making workplaces “more inviting and productive” for employees with disabilities 

What’s reported: A disability advocate writes in Forbes about 10 ways companies can move beyond a culture of mere ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. Some of the advice is clear-cut: “Make sure all company events, both formal and informal, are accessible.” And some advice looks at gray areas: “Provide accommodations quietly, but as often as possible, not secretly.”

What it means for you: Companies that are inclusive don’t just follow ADA guidelines. They put systems in place that help people with disabilities — as the Forbes article puts it — “excel and bring maximum value to the organizations they work for.

2. Lyft offers free rides to job seekers and new hires with disabilities  

What’s reported: Lyft is using its ride-sharing service to address a need for people with disabilities. According to Disability Scoop, Lyft is partnering with Goodwill and eight other organizations to provide free or reduced-cost rides to people with disabilities and other underemployed groups. Lyft’s new Jobs Access program is available in select cities and will provide low- or no-cost rides:

  • To/from job training programs
  • To/from job interviews
  • To/from the first three weeks of employment, until new hires get their first paychecks and can start paying for their own transportation

What it means for you: Not every company can provide transportation. But every company can do things like mention what the closest bus stop is when scheduling interviews. 

Understood can partner with your company to find solutions to employment barriers for people with disabilities through our Inclusive Careers Cohort (ICC) program

3. New guide helps veterans with disabilities understand their employment rights

What’s reported: In a Veterans Day blog post, Employment Screening Resources highlights laws that protect veterans from discrimination. The background check provider also points readers to a new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guide for veterans with service-connected disabilities. According to the guide, approximately 29 percent of recent veterans report having a service-connected disability, compared to 13 percent of all veterans.

Some laws only apply to government jobs. Others, such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), also apply to private employers,. 

What it means for you: Make sure your company is complying with the guidelines under laws like USERRA. This includes making “reasonable efforts” to provide accommodations for veterans with service-related disabilities. 

4. Arizona quantifies how hiring more people with disabilities would grow the state’s economy 

What’s reported: According to KTAR News, only 36 percent of adults with disabilities in Arizona are employed. What would happen if this workforce participation rate grew from about one-third to nearly one-half? A new study projected:

  • Arizona would grow its gross domestic product (GDP) by at least $197 million a year.
  • The resulting increase in household spending could raise the GDP another $281 million to $818 million a year.
  • The economic growth that comes from hiring more people with disabilities would lead to hundreds and possibly thousands of new jobs a year for people without disabilities.

The study was commissioned by the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (ADDPC). “We’ve always said in the disabilities community that people with disabilities are a valued part of the workforce,” says ADDPC executive director Erica McFadden. “Now we have numbers to back that up.” 

What it means for you: The Arizona study focuses on growth at the state level. But DI can help grow your company, too. Learn why disability inclusion is a sound business strategy that can give your company a competitive advantage, from higher profits to lower employee turnover.

About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.