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by Division of Disability and Workforce Programs, Employment and Training Administration US Department of Labor

Available formats:    Word

There are many labor sources that employers can tap to meet their ongoing recruitment needs.  People with disabilities represent the single largest minority group of people seeking employment in today’s market and remains a largely untapped labor pool.  Businesses may want to take advantage of this available labor source, but may not know where to begin in recruiting and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities.  The following provides some tips and resources to help you get started.


  • Study the issue, before you move ahead.

  • Learn more about people with disabilities.  A good way to start is to contact disability-related organizations for information.  The yellow pages have this information, or contact your Regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) at 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY).

  • Contact your local One-Stop Career Center and/or Vocational Rehabilitation Agency via America’s Service Locator.  The mission of the agencies is to assist the business sector. 



  • Establish a system for educating all levels of your workforce on the value of hiring people with disabilities.

  • Seek out opportunities, even before positions open, to develop relationships with organizations and programs that train, serve, or represent people with disabilities.

  • Send your vacancy announcements to disability-related organizations and agencies and your local One-Stop Career Center.  Contact the Business Services Representative at your local One-Stop Career Center.

  • Include on your job announcements an interest in receiving applications from qualified people with disabilities.

  • Participate in job fairs, exhibits, conferences, and meetings sponsored by disability-related organizations and agencies providing employment services to people with disabilities.

  • Participate in internship and mentoring programs.

  • Make sure that your business provides a disability friendly environment which is accessible to applicants with disabilities.  Make sure your buildings and grounds are accessible.  Make sure your applications and other print materials are accessible to applicants with visual and other disabilities.  Make sure your policies, practices, and procedures are flexible enough that, if necessary, modifications can be made to ensure that the skills and abilities of applicants with disabilities are equally represented.  The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) can assist with workplace accommodations.



  • Ensure that internal career development programs are available to employees with disabilities.

  • Provide candid and prompt performance feedback to employees with disabilities.

  • Establish a reasonable accommodation process.

  • Share your positive experiences about hiring qualified persons with disabilities with your peers when you attend professional and business meetings, trade shows, and annual conferences.  Volunteer to serve on Business Leadership Networks (BLN), Workforce Investment Boards (WIB’s), Business Advisory Councils, and other advisory boards.



  • Solutions/. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Business Relations Group (BRG) Business Solutions team assists large multi-state employers to connect to the publicly-funded workforce system, a network of state and local One-Stop Career Centers and Workforce Investment Boards.  One-Stop Career Centers provide recruiting and training services to help employers retain a skilled workforce and can also assist in developing a diverse workforce, hiring targeted employees with barriers to employment, and providing services to employers involved in downsizing and rightsizing actions as needed.

  •  America’s Service Locator is an on-line tool that identifies your local One-Stop Career Center and other employment and training and programs.

  • The Center for Workforce Preparation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, develops and disseminates materials about disability hiring issues, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), business tax credits and incentives, and successful strategies used by employers to meet their labor force needs by hiring people with disabilities.

  •  Provides employers with a listing of state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency employer and business development contacts who can provide qualified candidates with disabilities.

  •  Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network (EARN) provides a free referral service for employers looking to hire qualified people with disabilities.

  •  The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) provides an on-line databank that matches employers with qualified postsecondary students and college graduates with disabilities.

  • The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free consulting services to employers on workplace accommodations.  Call 1-800-526-7234 (V/TTY).

  •  The US Business Leadership Network promotes effective practices in recruiting, hiring, and retaining people with disabilities.

  •  Provides information to employers on how to comply with the ADA, publications for employers (including Business Briefs, Tax Incentives, ADA Guide for Small Businesses, Checklists, Standards for Accessible Design), and  includes an ADA Video Gallery.

  •  U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment Training Services, serving disabled veterans, website.

  • U.S. Department of Labor’s Division of Disability and Workforce Program’s website.