Employers Disability Inclusion Framework

R2 implements and acknowledges all the advice below and strongly recommends it to all employers

  1. Commitment from leadership: Encourage leadership to adopt a comprehensive, aggressive, deliberate, and continual approach to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, including individuals with disabilities.
  2. Create a disability-focused team: Establish an agency-wide team consisting of executives, managers, and employees with disabilities to support and advance the recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion of individuals with disabilities. Responsibilities of the team may include identifying barriers to employment opportunities, recommending strategies and actions to remove identified or potential barriers, and monitoring and evaluating progress of initiatives. This team may also function as a disability-focused employee resource group (ERG) or affinity group.
  3. Disability-inclusive policies and practices: Include disability as part of the company’s larger diversity and inclusion policies and activities. This includes using the words “disability” and “people with disabilities” in statements defining the company’s diversity policies, inviting disability organizations and people with disabilities to the company’s diversity events, and recognizing that people with disabilities are part of the company’s other diverse communities.
  4. Encourage workers to identify barriers and concerns: Encourage workers with disabilities and other employees to identify barriers, issues, and individual and systemic concerns involving equal employment opportunity, without fear of reprisal, and providing mechanisms such as surveys to allow them to share this information anonymously.
  5. Increase use of special hiring authorities: Expect managers to increase their use of special hiring authorities to fill vacancies, including Schedule A.
  6. Implement flexible work arrangements: Establish a universal policy providing workplace flexibility and accommodations for all applicants and employees, with and without disabilities, who can document the need. This includes the use of flexplace and flextime options, if appropriate.
  7. Work-life balance initiatives: Implement work-life programs (e.g., Health and Wellness, Employee Assistance Programs, Family and Dependent Care) and initiatives to help employees balance the needs of the workplace with the rest of their lives.
  8. Educational programs for managers and employees: Provide training programs for all managers and employees to raise awareness and understanding of disability issues and the benefits of diversity and inclusion.
  9. Disability-inclusive hiring practices: Develop and implement recruitment strategies that reach out to individuals with disabilities and ensure that all job descriptions, job postings, and selection criteria are free from discriminatory language or practices.
  10. Monitoring and evaluation: Regularly monitor and evaluate the success of disability inclusion initiatives to ensure that they are effective and identify areas for improvement.