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Interviewing People with Disabilities
 

Interviewing People with Disabilities

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2008 presentation for the Northern Kentucky Business Leadership Network.

2008 presentation for the Northern Kentucky Business Leadership Network.

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  • The ADA is designed to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
  • The ADA is designed to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
  • The ADA is designed to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
  • TA Provider who’s has severe hearing impairment: CapTel phone TA Provider who had extremely limited mobility: AT equipment TA Provider who is blind: AT – screenreader Individual with bi-polar disorder with flexible work schedule
  • TA Provider who’s has severe hearing impairment: CapTel phone TA Provider who had extremely limited mobility: AT equipment TA Provider who is blind: AT – screenreader Individual with bi-polar disorder with flexible work schedule
  • Making existing facilities accessible Job restructuring Part-time or modified work schedules Acquiring or modifying equipment Changing tests, training materials, or policies Providing qualified readers or interpreters Reassignment to a vacant position
  • A friend, family member, or medical professional may ask the employer for an accommodation if the employee is not able to do so himself
  • An employer cannot use the interview or the application process to inquire about a potential disability. When to disclose a disability is an individual choice. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that an individual does not have to inform the potential employer about medical history until a conditional job offer has been made. Although employers may not ask disability-related questions or require medical examinations at the pre-offer stage, they may do a wide variety of things to evaluate whether an applicant is qualified for the job, including the following: * Employers may ask about an applicant's ability to perform specific job functions. For example, an employer may state the physical requirements of a job (such as the ability to lift a certain amount of weight, or the ability to climb ladders), and ask if an applicant can satisfy these requirements. * Employers may ask about an applicant's non-medical qualifications and skills, such as the applicant's education, work history, and required certifications and licenses. * Employers may ask applicants to describe or demonstrate how they would perform job tasks.
  • An employer's obligation to provide reasonable accommodation applies only to known physical or mental limitations. However, this does not mean that an applicant or employee must always inform you of a disability. For example: An employee who is Bipolar works as a cook at a large restaurant. He handles his job and has no complications from his condition. This employee may have a disability but chooses not to disclose because there is no need for Reasonable Accommodation.
  • In some situations, an employer may start the reasonable accommodation process: If the employee has an “obvious” disability and the need for accommodation is obvious For an example an individual that uses a wheelchair, a person who is deaf or blind or a person that wears a prosthetic limb. If the employee cannot ask for an accommodation due to a cognitive or other disability An employer's obligation to provide reasonable accommodation applies only to known physical or mental limitations. However, this does not mean that an applicant or employee must always inform you of a disability. For example: An employee who is Bipolar works as a cook at a large restaurant. He handles his job and has no complications from his condition. This employee may have a disability but chooses not to disclose because there is no need for Reasonable Accommodation. Example: An employee with mental retardation delivers messages at a law firm. He frequently mixes up messages for "R. Miller" and "T. Miller." The employer knows about the disability, suspects that the performance problem is a result of the disability, and knows that this employee is unable to ask for a reasonable accommodation because of his mental retardation. The employer asks the employee about mixing up the two names and asks if it would be helpful to spell the first name of each person. When the employee says that would be better, the employer, as a reasonable accommodation, instructs the receptionist to write the full first name when messages are left for one of the Messrs. Miller.
  • Employers have the option to provide an alternative accommodation instead of the accommodation that the employee requests as long as it is effective.
  • In some situations, an employer may start the reasonable accommodation process: If the employee has an “obvious” disability and the need for accommodation is obvious For an example an individual that uses a wheelchair, a person who is deaf or blind or a person that wears a prosthetic limb. If the employee cannot ask for an accommodation due to a cognitive or other disability An employer's obligation to provide reasonable accommodation applies only to known physical or mental limitations. However, this does not mean that an applicant or employee must always inform you of a disability. For example: An employee who is Bipolar works as a cook at a large restaurant. He handles his job and has no complications from his condition. This employee may have a disability but chooses not to disclose because there is no need for Reasonable Accommodation. Example: An employee with mental retardation delivers messages at a law firm. He frequently mixes up messages for "R. Miller" and "T. Miller." The employer knows about the disability, suspects that the performance problem is a result of the disability, and knows that this employee is unable to ask for a reasonable accommodation because of his mental retardation. The employer asks the employee about mixing up the two names and asks if it would be helpful to spell the first name of each person. When the employee says that would be better, the employer, as a reasonable accommodation, instructs the receptionist to write the full first name when messages are left for one of the Messrs. Miller.

Interviewing People with Disabilities Interviewing People with Disabilities Presentation Transcript

  • Interviewing and Hiring people with Disabilities Center for Accessible Living, Disability Resource Center
  • Our decision to hire a person is usually a lengthy, belabored process Our decision to not hire a person, for whatever reasons, is often quick Food for Thought
  • 2000 Census: 19.3% of Americans self-reported as having a disability. 58 million Americans with disabilities…. 1 in 5. 20 million families have at least one (1) member with a disability. Disability Today Source: www.census.gov
  • Disability Today American Sign language is the third most used language in the US. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the US, currently with 1 in 150* births.
  • Disability Today Employment rate for people with disabilities has remained at about 35% since the passage of the ADA in 1990. Compared to a 78% employment rate for non-disabled. Employment rates from a joint NOD/Harris Poll, 2004
  • Disability Today People with disabilities continue to represents a largely untapped and diverse pool of qualified job candidates
  • Disability Today In a recent national survey: 92% of consumers surveyed felt more favorable toward companies that hire individuals with disabilities. 87% said they would prefer to give their business to such companies. Consumer Percentages from http://www.csde.umb.edu/research/survey.shtml
  • Disability Today People with disabilities have $175 billion in disposable income. Almost two times the spending power of teens. Persons with disabilities increased their use of the Internet at twice the rate of people without disabilities (400% versus 200%) between December 1998 and June 2001. Income according to the U.S. Department of Labor: www.dol.gov Internet use according to the National Organization on Disabilities, www.nod.org
  • Disability Today As access has become more widely available, people with disabilities are increasingly participating in society and our communities.
  • Shedding some light on Disability & Dispelling myths
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Is civil rights legislation, NOT an affirmative action law Does not require hiring or prohibit firing people with disabilities Does require hiring the most qualified person , even if person has a disability. Does not require “special privileges,” only ensures equality.
  • Accommodations are usually very expensive… FALSE! 50.5% of accommodations cost nothing The average accommodation is reported as being a one time cost of $500 or less . Figures from the Job Accommodation Network: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/LowCostHighImpact.pdf
  • More Myths People with disabilities are generally out sick more often. People with disabilities are more likely to have accidents than other employees. An employer’s workers’ compensation rates rise when they hire workers with disabilities. http://oshkoshwdc.com/data/Studies_Related_to_the_Employment_of_Individuals_with_Disabilities.pdf
  • More Myths People with mental illness are more likely to be violent than non-disabled. Workers with prior mental illness cannot work in a fast-paced, high pressure jobs. People with learning disabilities generally have lower IQs than other people.
  • More Myths Most Deaf people can read lips. Most blind people can read Braille. People with disabilities are not highly motivated.
  • Interviewing and Hiring people with Disabilities
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Purpose
    • To prevent discrimination on the basis of disability.
    • To prohibit excluding, denying benefits to, or discriminating against a qualified individual with a disability.
  • Qualified individual with a disability
    • Qualified
    • An individual with a disability is qualified if he/she:
    • Satisfies the skill, education, and training for the position; and
    • Can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Qualified individual with a disability
    • Essential Functions
    • The “fundamental job duties”
    • Including if:
    • The job exists to perform that function
    • There are a limited number of people to perform that function
    • The job is highly specialized
  • ADA Definition of Disability
    • A physical or mental impairment
    • that substantially limits
    • one or more major life activities
    ADA Definition of Disability
      • Current
      • A Record of
      • Regarded as
      • Nature and severity of the impairment
      • Duration or expected duration of the impairment
      • Permanent, long term, or expected impact from the impairment
  • Check Accessibility Before you Recruit Physical : Entrances, doors, walkways, work areas, restrooms, break rooms Other : signage, alternate formats, interpreters, company specific software, website
  • Employee Attitudes Before you Recruit Educate disability Celebrate disability Make it part of diversity programs
  • Application Process Pre-employment When advertising the job: include only those qualifications that are absolutely necessary for the job and are actually required to perform the essential functions of that job EEO statement in advertisements
  • Application Process Pre-employment Let applicants know that accommodations can be provided upon request Let them know who to contact if they have questions or just want to request the accommodation… whether it's in the job posting or during the application process Are application and tests accessible?
  • The Interview
  • “ People first” language Don’t make assumptions on appearance Focus on ability, not disability Introduce yourself and use a normal tone of voice Offer to shake the individual's hand Interview Basic Etiquette
  • Make sure your interview space is accessible Provide the applicant with an estimate of the interview duration and the expected end time, to arrange for transportation Let them know if they’ll be filling anything out or taking any test at the interview Interview Logistics
  • Interview Speak directly to the interviewee instead of through a companion, their personal attendant, or Sign Language interpreter Don’t fear “foot-in-mouth syndrome” with expressions like “see” “walk”, etc. – They’re OK! Always ask the same questions of all interviewees, regardless if they have a disability or not Conversation
  • Interview Must not measure impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills, unless those skills are what the test is intended to measure Accommodations are required May not be used to screen out applicant on the basis of disability who can perform the essential functions with or without an accommodation, despite inability to pass test Employment Tests
  • Interview Pre-offer : none of either Post offer : both OK, if required of all applicants in same job category During employment : must be job related and consistent with business necessity; or to process reasonable accommodation requests if disability is not obvious or already known Disability Questions & Medical Exams
  • Interview About applicant’s impairment About applicant’s mental health treatment About applicant’s use of medications About applicant’s worker comp. history Prohibited Questions
  • Interview If applicant can perform essential functions of the job About current use of illegal drugs If applicant has engaged in workplace violence If applicant will need accommodation in application process Whether someone with an obvious disability will require a reasonable accommodation to perform the job Permitted Questions
  • Employment & Accommodations
  • Defining Reasonable Accommodation
    • “ Any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.”
    • Source: EEOC
  • Defining Reasonable Accommodation
    • Enables an individual with a disability to:
      • apply for a job
      • perform the essential functions of a job
      • enjoy the benefits and privileges of the employment position
  • Defining Reasonable Accommodation
    • Examples:
      • Making existing facilities accessible
      • Job restructuring and job sharing
      • Flex time or modified work schedules
      • Work from home
      • Acquiring or modifying equipment
      • Changing tests, training materials, or policies
      • Providing qualified readers or interpreters
      • Reassignment to a vacant position
  • Accommodations Have a written policy on accommodation and let ALL your employees know It's important to create an environment that permits people with hidden disabilities that may not be visibly obvious that allows those individuals to disclose their disability if necessary, and to feel comfortable enough to do so. Can be requested at any time; during application, interview, and on the job.
  • RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN EMPLOYEE Accommodations
  • Responsibilities of an Employee
    • Generally responsible for:
      • Initiating the reasonable accommodation process by asking for an accommodation
        • Doesn’t have to be in writing
        • Doesn’t have to say “accommodation”
        • Doesn’t necessarily have to be requested by the individual
  • Responsibilities of an Employee
    • Never otherwise required to disclose a disability,
    • and may choose not to ask for an
    • accommodation for his or her disabilities.
    • Must provide medical documentation when requesting an accommodation, if asked to by employer
  • RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN EMPLOYER Accommodations
  • Responsibilities of an Employer
    • Generally responsible for:
      • providing a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability, unless it causes undue hardship or direct threat
      • Keeping medical records and accommodation information confidential and separate
  • Responsibilities of an Employer
    • An employer may start the reasonable
    • accommodation process:
      • If the employee has an “obvious” disability and the need for accommodation is obvious
      • If the employee cannot ask for an accommodation due to a cognitive or other disability
  • Responsibilities of an Employer
    • Option to choose the accommodation
    • Option to provide an alternative
    • Must be effective
  • Responsibilities of an Employer
    • Actions Not Required:
      • Removing essential functions or hiring someone else to perform them
      • Lowering production standards
      • Excusing misconduct
      • Providing personal use items (wheelchairs, etc.)
  • Limits to Responsibility Undue Hardship Direct threat
  • Undue Hardship “ Significant difficulty or expense” Look at employer circumstances Resources of whole company
  • Direct Threat
    • Significant risk of substantial harm.
    • Specific risk must be current and identifiable.
    • Based on objective medical or other factual evidence.
    • Consider whether risk can be eliminated or reduced by reasonable modification.
    An individual with a disability may be excluded if she or he poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others:
  • Accommodations The accommodation process is ongoing and interactive ! Involve the individual It’s on a case by case basis Document…Document…Document Accommodation doesn’t have to be fancy Final Words
  • Employment Again, have a policy on accommodation and let ALL your employees know Equal access means “same benefits and privileges” as well On the Job
  • Disability Etiquette & Practical Tips for working with specific groups
  • People with Mobility Impairments Try to get to eye level when communicating Respect personal space… don't touch or lean on any of their mobility devices like wheelchairs, scooters, canes, walkers, etc. Don’t Move their mobility Devices! Again, don't assume a person with a disability needs assistance. Ask first. Listen to their response.
  • Myth buster : Not all Deaf people read lips... Not all hard of hearing people know ASL Speak directly to the person, not to the interpreter… keep eye contact Use a normal tone of voice, unless asked to speak up Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Know the importance of (licensed) ASL interpreters To get the person's attention, either tap them on the shoulder, wave your hand, flick lights Facial expressions and movement Unobstructed mouth What is a relay call? 711? VP?
  • Myth Buster : only about 10-20% read Braille Alternative formats, i.e. large print, electronic, audio tape, etc. Service animals are working , ask before you pet or interact with them Ask, don’t assume People with Visual Impairment
  • Use a normal tone of voice announce yourself to the person announce your entrance and exit Proper guidance methods, descriptive directions People with Visual Impairment
  • People with Speech Difficulties Give your full attention, repeat what they say back to them for verification Don’t finish their sentence or thought If you don’t understand, it’s ok … Ask the person to repeat it or even write it down Use a normal tone of voice when speaking to the person
  • Little People, People of Short Stature Remember, little people are adults, so treat them as adults. Again, ask if they need assistance before acting.
  • People with Psychiatric Disabilities The best accommodation for people with psychiatric disabilities tends to be flex time. Watch your words: i.e. “crazy,” “nuts,” etc. Don’t make assumptions about abilities, including ability to handle stress Be sensitive to the need for privacy of information about the disability (& accommodations)
  • Hidden Disabilities Just because you can’t see the disability, doesn’t mean it’s not there! Be respectful of personal privacy and don’t ask about their disability.
  • Hidden Disabilities The best accommodation for people with many hidden disabilities is flex time. Be sensitive to the need for privacy of information about the disability (& accommodations) Just because you can’t see the disability, doesn’t mean it’s not there!
  • People with cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, head injury Myth buster : most people with a learning disability actually have a higher-than-average IQ Be Patient! Try and provide a quiet work environment
  • People with cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, head injury ask the person if they prefer verbal, written, or hand signed instructions, or a combination of the instructions. Getting notes, e-mail follow-ups, can all help the individual remember the content of the information
  • People with respiratory conditions (asthma, multiple chemical sensitivities) Air fresheners, Cleaning products, perfumes and colognes, can trigger a reaction Encourage and lead by example, including in interviews, by not wearing fragrances Don’t make assumption based on appearance Watch out for retaliation, backlash
  • People with HIV/AIDS & Cancer Survivors Are protected under the ADA The history or record is on a need to know basis for managers/employees Flex time, again, the best accommodation
  • Employment www.calky.org/Links.html Job Accommodation Network www.jan.wvu.edu/ Your local CIL, State and local agencies, community organizations HR Supports
  • Employment EEOC, DOL ODEP, DBTAC NBDC, Local BLN chapter, SHRM EARNworks.com, disabilityinfo.gov http://www.workabilityutah.org/employment/webpage/emp_resources.htm HR Supports
  • Employment The Employee with the Disability! HR Supports
  • Center for Accessible Living www.calky.org 305 W Broadway, Suite 200 • Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 589-6620 (v) • (502) 589-6690 (TDD) * * * * * 1051 N. 16th Street, Suite C • Murray, KY 42071 (270) 753-7676 (v) • (270) 767-0549 (TDD) * * * * *