Everyone is searching for talent, but are you looking in the right place, and are you ready?

January 26, 2022
Bonnie Rivers
Bonnie Rivers, M Ed
Director, Employer Relations

Diversity is not just nice to have in business – it is imperative to drive innovation, deliver relevant products and services that resonate with customers, and enhance corporate culture and productivity. Work Without Limits, an initiative of UMass Chan Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine, knows businesses are working hard to enhance their efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) yet often struggle with their comfort level and capacity to include individuals with disabilities. This untapped talent pool frequently consists of highly educated, skilled, and eager individuals seeking an employer who sees their ability instead of their disability – as the national What can YOU do? campaign states, “It’s what people CAN do that matters.” Highly qualified individuals with disabilities are actively seeking your jobs. Are you seeking out their skills?

The pandemic has lowered some previously high employment hurdles for people with disabilities. The increase in remote opportunities has reduced the transportation barriers felt by some with mobility or regional limitations. Individuals are no longer limited to working for employers that can be accessed by bus or train in their town or even their state. The “normalizing” of flexible work schedules have benefited those with family and/or routine medical needs. Technology is catching up with accessibility needs – such as virtual meetings with closed captioning – and easing the integration of sign language interpreters or translators. Though there is still much to be done, great, inclusive things are happening to reduce employment barriers for individuals with disabilities and facilitate employers’ capacity to include individuals with disabilities in their workforce. 

Do you need help in your search for talented individuals with disabilities? Work Without Limits offers three specific services to guide employers and help them gain confidence and increase their capacity and comfort level when including individuals with disabilities in their organizations.

  1. The Work Without Limits Business Network is a robust consortium of public and private employers committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities as employees, customers, and suppliers. The business case for including people with disabilities in business is well documented. Through organizational membership, Work Without Limits provides practical guidance, education, opportunities, and connections to help you achieve your disability inclusion goals regardless of your self-assessed beginner, intermediate or advanced status. All are welcome!
  2. Disability Inclusion Trainings grow your staff and leadership’s disability knowledge, comfort level, and capacity to include individuals with disabilities in your workplace. Through one-hour, highly interactive, virtual workshops, you will learn about the value disability inclusion brings to business, disability etiquette and the importance of language, how to interview and conduct performance discussions with individuals with disabilities, and more.
  3. The Jobs Ability Jobs Board was created by a certified Disability Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) and provides the opportunity for employers to have their jobs automatically posted daily for thousands of candidates with disabilities to explore. Employers can also actively source candidates via keyword searches and job description profile matches.

To learn more about Work Without Limits’ services for employers, please reach out to Bonnie Rivers, director, employer relations.

About Us

Work Without Limits is an initiative of Commonwealth Medicine, the consulting and operations division of UMass Chan Medical School. Our goal is to position Massachusetts as the first state in the nation where the employment rate of people with disabilities is equal to people without disabilities.