Left, two individuals in Chef outfits, preparing food. Right, 7 individuals standing with award.

Disability in the NH Workforce

Marcel (L) & Steven (R), alumni of GSIL’s IMPACCT Program

Disability in the NH Workforce

A career search may seem daunting. One way to ease your mind during the hiring process is to remember that you are interviewing perspective employers! When considering an employer, there are several variables to keep in mind.

Do your Research!

Get a feel for the organization, their mission and core values.

Research the company using credible outside sources, such as Indeed or Glassdoor.  What feedback are current and/or former employees voicing? A search in Google News may also reveal potential red flags or accolades. Follow a perspective employer on social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Monitoring an employer of interest will give you an idea of the information and trends they value while providing insight regarding the culture of the organization.

Tools & Resources

Does the employer offer the tools you will need to be successful?

Accommodations in the workplace can be the difference between success and frustration. Section 504 of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to those eligible for employment and meet the qualifications for that employment, except for undue hardship for that employer. Are reasonable accommodations offered to encourage your success? What is considered an “undue hardship” for a reasonable accommodation? According to the ADA:

Undue hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis. Where the facility making the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the structure and overall resources of the larger organization would be considered, as well as the financial and administrative relationship of the facility to the larger organization. In general, a larger employer with greater resources would be expected to make accommodations requiring greater effort or expense than would be required of a smaller employer with fewer resources.

If a particular accommodation would be an undue hardship, the employer must try to identify another accommodation that will not pose such a hardship. Also, if the cost of an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer, the individual with a disability should be given the option of paying that portion of the cost which would constitute an undue hardship or providing the accommodation.”

Promoting Inclusion in NH’s Workforce

The Employment Leadership Award Committee is made up of the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, NH Vocational Rehabilitation and a number of organizations that meet throughout the year to accept nominations, review and select the top employers in the state. The Employment Leadership Award, ELA, recognizes employers that embrace diversity, utilizing inclusive practices for their workforce. This award is presented annually to 5 New Hampshire Business Leaders that offer equality, inclusion and promotion to those with disabilities so they may compete, obtain and exceed gainful employment. For those with disabilities, securing meaningful employment can be a challenge.

Advantages of an Inclusive Workforce

A growing number of individuals, organizations and for-profit companies are recognizing the many benefits of a diverse workforce. A skillful candidate with a disability can add to the creative mix, bring unique insights and new talent to the business. Every employee needs to be challenged, developed and rewarded.

The 2018 Employment Leadership Awards were presented to: Worthen Industries, Comfort Inn, Dunkin Donuts (Lafayette Road, Portsmouth), Home Depot (Merrimack) and Omni Mount Washington.

Dunkin Donuts (Lafayette Rd Portsmouth) receives the 2018 ELA Award for full inclusion. Photo Provided by the NHCDD

Nominate an Inclusive Employer

Do you know an employer that goes above and beyond?

The NH Council on Developmental Disabilities and NH Vocational Rehabilitation are currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Employment Leadership Awards. Nominations are due by April 30th to be eligible for consideration. This is your opportunity to recognize and support employers in your community for their efforts to bring equality, inclusion and promotion of people with disabilities into the workplace.

Click Here for the ELA Nomination Cover Letter | Click Here for the ELA Business Nomination Form

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