Engaging with employers to advance equal opportunity and inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities.

People with disabilities are significantly under-represented in the labor market, a missed opportunity for both employers and individuals. While much research and outreach has focused on the supply-side barriers to employment, a better understanding of the demand-side (employers) is essential to fully address this issue. By increasing our understanding of how employer practices are related to employment disparities and the workplace experiences of individuals with disabilities, we aim to advance workplaces that are inclusive of people with disabilities.

A key component in our research and the development of our programing is engagement with a wide range of employers. By understanding their information needs, we can design studies and products that employers can and will use to inform workplace policy and practices. Our multi-disciplinary research team uses a wide range of methodological approaches to better understand the context, issues, and “what works” across the employment process including in: recruitment and hiring, workplace climate and inclusion, compensation and benefits, accommodation and accessibility, retention and career development, and metrics to measure progress on employer goals in these areas. We offer training, technical assistance, and consultation that are grounded in research and designed to support changes in individual behavior and organizational practice.

Many employers are trying to understand how to encourage employees to self-identify to meet goals set for federal contractors. Our research delving into the barriers and facilitators to disability disclosure from the perspective of individuals with disabilities, as well as in-depth organizational case studies, have helped us provide research based recommendations to employers to improve the workplace climate for disability inclusion and increase self-identification among their applicants and employees.