A federal office dedicated to promoting community living is putting up big money to help businesses find and implement innovative ways to increase employment for people with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living is asking employers to come up with new ideas to incorporate those with disabilities — especially people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — into the workforce.
Through a competition, businesses have the opportunity to win up to $100,000 to help them put their models into practice.
“With this challenge, ACL is seeking commitments from businesses to include employees with disabilities, particularly with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in their inclusion and diversity efforts and their talent pipeline programs,” organizers said. “Ultimately, the workforce pipelines proposed here will enable businesses to benefit from the talents of a wider, more diverse workforce and ensure more Americans with disabilities are able to advance and compete in the future economy.”
The Administration for Community Living said it’s looking for “innovative workforce pipelines” that use non-traditional methods to redefine career development and address the employment barriers facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Employers should plan to include people with disabilities in testing their models and all ideas should lead to competitive, integrated employment, officials said.
Those behind the challenge note that companies that employ people with disabilities report higher revenues, bigger profit margins, better morale and greater retention rates, but many businesses don’t know where to start.
Federal officials said they hope that models developed and refined through the competition can be replicated by other employers.
Businesses have through Feb. 14 to submit proposals for the competition, which will ultimately dole out $380,000 in cash prizes to winners over the course of three phases.
Culled from Disability Scoop as written by Shaun Heasley