Inclusive Hiring Guide Empowers Businesses to Recruit and Retain People with Disabilities, Beginning in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ – Looking for a job is never easy, but the challenges multiply for the one-in-four New Jerseyans living with a disability, as reflected by the high rate of unemployment within this group. People with disabilities are both unemployed and under-employed, in spite of today’s hiring crisis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not even one in five people with a disability was employed in 2021, while in the same year, nearly two-thirds of people without a disability had jobs.

That’s why Easterseals NJ, a champion of rights for people with disabilities and the largest disability services not-for-profit in New Jersey, has released its updated, free Inclusive Hiring Guide to help more employers hire more people with disabilities. Part educational tool and part reference guide, Easterseals NJ’s updated guide raises awareness of the myriad of forms disabilities take, including physical, mental health, deaf and hard of hearing, learning disabilities, and others. It gives detailed guidance for recruiting, interviewing, accommodating, and training workers who will bring talent and diversity to the workplace.

“This country is facing the worst labor shortage since the end of WWII. Instead of complaining, let’s do something about it and recruit and hire the thousands of available people with disabilities. We understand that it can be intimidating and confusing, but with the right resources, businesses can – and must – learn how to open the door for talent that might otherwise not be considered,” said Easterseals NJ CEO and President Brian Fitzgerald. “We know that New Jersey employers have good intentions to hire people with disabilities but too many still aren’t doing it. We want to help turn their good intentions into action and this guide will help do that.”

Studies show that companies that champion people with disabilities outperform others, driving profitability and shareholder returns. In some instances, revenues were 28% higher, net income 200% higher, and profit margins 30% higher. In addition to improved profitability, research shows organizations that employ people with disabilities have greater retention, reliability and punctuality, employee loyalty, inclusive work culture, and enhanced company image.

Daniel Benson, New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Chairman, voiced support for Easterseals’ efforts. “We want every New Jersey workplace to be more inclusive of people with disabilities and provide a broad range of opportunities for residents to grow and earn a living, enabling them to take care of themselves and their families,” said the Assemblyman. “The important work Easterseals NJ contributes toward its inclusive hiring guide tremendously helps break down barriers and eliminates certain obstacles those with disabilities face when looking for employment.”

In addition to incorporating the guide’s principles and strategies into their recruitment efforts, Easterseals NJ provides help to companies who would benefit from working directly with a disabilities services organization. The free guide is available to business owners, human resource managers, and anyone interested in creating a more diverse, productive, and empathetic workplace.

About Easterseals NJ

For over 70 years, Easterseals New Jersey has helped individuals and families with disabilities or special needs live, learn, work and play in their communities with equality, dignity and independence. Annually, over 5,000 people in New Jersey with developmental disabilities receive services in programs designed to help them achieve independence and full community-integration. For more information on Easterseals New Jersey and its statewide disability services, visit http://www.eastersealsnj.org./

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