Disability Awareness Month: Build a Resilient Workforce

Disability Awareness Month: Build a Resilient Workforce

Fill your talent pipeline with candidates that overcome obstacles

March 28, 2018, 2:00pm EST

Do you have a strategy for hiring people with disabilities? Here’s why you should. 

Twenty-five years ago, Congress enacted the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability in employment and other aspects of community life. Public policy at all levels has shown growing support for the employment of people with disabilities, as part of a broad societal shift to mainstream society. 

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 10.5 percent in 2016, about twice that of those with no disability (4.6 percent). People with disabilities are one of the nation’s largest minority groups – comprising approximately 20 percent of the population. Yet only 20 percent of people with disabilities are participating in the workforce, compared to 69.1 percent of people without disabilities.

SHRM LogoEmployers struggle with a skills gap but overlook a vast percentage of the workforce. Have you considered not only the social responsibility but the corporate benefit of inclusion by enabling people with “different” abilities to not just apply for open positions but make a massive contribution to the growth of your firm?

The discussion will address questions such as the following:

  • What do inclusive hiring practices have to do with productivity and growth? 
  • How can employees with disabilities boost your ROI?
  • What is the link between inclusion and innovation?
  • How does employing people with disabilities engender brand loyalty? 


Disabled Office Worker

Join us for a Round table discussion led by: 

Phil DonahuePhil Donahue, Program Manager - Louisville Coalition for Workforce Diversity
Phil currently serves as the Program Manager for the Coalition for Workforce Diversity in Louisville, KY. The Coalition is an alliance of employers, service providers, and other key stakeholders creating competitive integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities across a wide array of industry sectors. Prior to joining the Coalition in 2015, he worked for UPS for over 32 years before retiring as a Human Resources manager with the UPS Airline. Phil has extensive experience in many facets of HR including Workforce Planning, Affirmative Action Plan compliance, Compensation and Benefits, and Employee Relations. As the Workforce Planning manager for the UPS Air Group, he was responsible for several key employment and diversity-related initiatives in support of staffing and workforce retention for Worldport, UPS’s main air hub located in Louisville.
Larry WorthLarry Worth, Executive Director, The ViaQuest Foundation
Larry leads a team of disability consultants who work with corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, school districts and other entities that seek a disability inclusive culture. Larry’s passion, energy, and insightful direction have led to hundreds of people with disabilities enter into the workforce within a multitude of industries.
UPS - Todd Coffey - UPS
The UPS Transitional Learning Center, founded in September 2015, is an example of a program implemented by the Louisville coalition. The TLC is a partnership between UPS, the coalition, and Options Unlimited, an organization that connects people with disabilities to opportunities. The TLC provides a training environment that assists people with disabilities to overcome obstacles in the employment process.
UPS - Emily Malsch - USBLN
The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. They provide businesses a voice to all levels of government on disability related public policy. Their mission is to provide businesses advice and tools to effectively leverage disability inclusion in the workplace while being a bridge between employers and people with disabilities.




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Ready To Work Business Collaborative works cooperatively to help employers develop hiring best practices that target the long-term unemployed, underemployed, people with disabilities, military veterans, and Opportunity Youth.

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