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NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS DISABILITY MAY NOT BE A BARRIER TO WORK

IS DISABILITY A BARRIER TO WORK?

On September 5, 2019, the New York Times published Ben Casselman’s article about disability and work. Casselman wrote, employers like Dell, started a program to hire people with autism. Kate Cosway, who has a master’s degree, was chosen by Dell for a 12-week internship, which is now becoming a full-time job. Because of the internship program, people with autism are part of the hiring pool, when they weren’t before.

Many big companies are looking outside the traditional workforce for new employees. To lure new hires, for example, companies are offering flexible hours and work-from-home options. They are also giving accommodations to people with disabilities. For example, Dell’s program, mentioned above, is a creative way to entice talent.

DELL IS RECRUITING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Dell’s effort is in response to a growing challenge of low unemployment.  The unemployment rate is under 3 percent in Dell’s Austin area and the talent in technical jobs is scarce.  Dell needs to tap into new pools of potential workers. It is also trying to hire veterans and people looking to re-enter the work force after absence. They want to diversify their workforce.

In Ms. Cosway’s case, her internship became a full-time job, because she made the most of her opportunity. She did a project that was going to take all summer to do, in just a few weeks. It was clear to Dell that she is an asset to the company.

SMALL COMPANIES ARE SEEKING DIVERSITY TOO

This isn’t just happening in big companies or in only white-collar work. ZipRecruiter is offering on-the-job training and tuition reimbursement to help unskilled workers climb to the top. People who lack education or who have a disability, can seek employment and get on-the-job training. The competition for employees is stiff. Some small employers are offering training and also paying higher hourly wages. They are doing this because they need workers.

For big and small companies to reach out to people outside the mainstream is a boon to many jobseekers. People with disabilities can often work if given some accommodations. Additionally, they are often very loyal employees.  Hopefully, this trend will continue for individuals with disabilities and employers.  If you are having trouble finding work or are seeking disability benefits, contact Cannon Disability Law today.

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