West Virginia University helps create more jobs for disabled individuals

Dive Brief:

  • The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has partnered with West Virginia University to train employers on creating jobs and reasonable accommodations for adults with disabling conditions, SHRM reports. So far, the partnership has helped 27 people find jobs.
  • Formed in 1983, JAN is a free service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy that supports research, training and consulting for companies, individuals and service providers — all geared towards greater employment opportunities for impaired adults. 
  • Anne Hirsh, co-director of JAN, told SHRM, "Our consultants provide confidential guidance on a range of practical accommodation situations and solutions, which supports human resources professionals dedicated to providing equal employment options for all individuals."

Dive Insight:

All employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to employees regardless of their condition or age-related limitations.

But, oftentimes, they don't have the resources or know where to turn for support in this goal. It's good to know that government programs like JAN are still available to give employers a chance to provide the support that disabled employees need.

There also a number of similar initiatives at private organizations looking to improve employment opportunities and training for those with disabilities. Ford, for example, recently partnered with a Michigan non-profit to expand a recruitment and training program for individuals with autism.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 5 working adults in America identifies as being disabled. Many find it difficult to find meaningful careers, instead living on disability income under the poverty level. It's hopeful that as more universities partner with and reach out to partner with JAN and other organizations there will be more jobs available for disabled adults. 

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