From institutionalized discrimination to pandemic lay-offs, people with disabilities have struggled to retain stable employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of Americans with disabilities was 17.9 percent by the end of 2020. The employment rate for people without disabilities was 61.8 percent.

Well before even entering the workplace, people with disabilities face barriers in the job hiring process, from inaccessible or discriminatory job descriptions to poorly designed interviews. It's important to note that these aren't inherent obstacles. Simple changes from employers can make the entire process more inclusive and expose their businesses to a wider talent pool.

As the country experiences what many have called the “Great Resignation” — with millions of people leaving jobs and demanding more support from their employers — it's a perfect time to review the accessibility of your hiring practices.

In October, Disability Rights California, a national disability rights nonprofit, partnered with Deque, a digital accessibility consultation group, to create a guide for employers on fostering a more disability-inclusive hiring and recruiting process. It debunks common myths about accommodating people with physical and intellectual disabilities and offers tips for recruiting, applications, and interviewing prospective employees.

The conclusion? Employers have an opportunity to make their hiring processes more accessible with just a little forethought.

Meagan Taylor is a project manager at Deque and author of the guide. She and the other advocates involved hope it convinces employers that inclusive recruiting is beneficial for everyone. "Why is it worth your time to do this? Because there is a large pool of smart and hard-working applicants with disabilities who would be an excellent addition to your organization," she told Mashable via email.

  1. Write flexible, detailed job descriptions
  2. Make sure online applications are accessible to all users
  3. Design interviews with accessibility in mind
  4. Have protocols already in place for accommodations, after hiring

Read the full article about accessibility in hiring by Chase DiBenedetto at Mashable.