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Posted 08/08/2016

Candidates with Disabilities Help Manufacturers Dissolve the Workforce Gap

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) began breaking down the barriers in American Society in 1994, but the disabled workforce became integrated years later under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ACT created by President Obama. Perhaps workers with disabilities may be just the employees you need to fill your manufacturing workforce shortage. Realistically, not all jobs are right for those who are physically-challenged, but there are many positions - such as assembly worker, test assistants, order builders, or technicians - that can be well-suited for these individuals. In fact, many mid-level management or supervisory positions, including safety, compliance or custodial services, to name a few – are also a great choice for individuals with disabilities. Hiring people with disabilities is a good business move as they are often highly motivated to contribute and bring a different perspective to problem-solving. So, what does hiring a physically-challenged employee require? Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations useful for an employee with a disability, but the ADA discloses the definitions of those legalities. Examples of accommodations may be room for a wheelchair, adaptation of a desk, inclusion of TDD telephone equipment or technological source (as in a voice activated computer). The ADA does not require employers automatically to allow employees to bring service animals to work, but employers can choose to allow the animal as part of the reasonable accommodation. Incentives for employing workers with disabilities According to the IRS, there are three significant tax credits or deductions for hiring a worker with a disability. There is also the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit which may apply if the hired individual was also a recipient of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Furthermore, if you hire a disabled veteran, you might be able to expand the credit your business receives. Again, employers can seek guidance from the ADA and IRS. Myths associated with physically-challenged individuals There are many myths associated with disabilities, a few of which are:
  • MYTH: Sign language interpreters are required everywhere.
  • FACT: The ADA only requires that effective communication doesn't exclude people with disabilities, which in many situations means providing written materials or exchanging notes. The law does not require any measure that would cause an undue financial or administrative burden.
  • MYTH: Accommodating workers with disabilities costs too much.
  • FACT: Reasonable accommodation is usually far less expensive than many people think. In most cases, an appropriate reasonable accommodation can be made without difficulty and at little or no cost MYTH: Under the ADA, employers must give people with disabilities special privileges, known as accommodations.
  • FACT: Reasonable accommodations are intended to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities have rights in employment equal—not superior—to those of individuals without disabilities.
  • MYTH: All persons who use wheelchairs are chronically ill or sickly.
  • FACT: A person may use a wheelchair for a variety of reasons, none of which may have anything to do with lingering illness.
  • MYTH: The ADA protects employees who have difficult or rude personalities or are troublemakers.
  • FACT: Improper behavior in and of itself does not constitute a disability, and having a disability does not excuse employees from performing essential job tasks and following the same conduct standards required of all employees.
Is it time for you to reconsider? It’s good to get the facts, as many individuals with disabilities are capable and eager to assist your precision manufacturing company in achieving your goals. Consult with MPS Technical about our resources to help you find qualified employees. MPS specializes in providing talented employees to precision manufacturing companies with a seamless onboarding process. We’re here to listen and consider your specific needs. We understand – our backyard is your backyard.  Let’s talk today.