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 Disability Program Navigator: Navigator Frequently Asked Questions 

19(Basic)  How do I represent myself to the business community and educate employers on the ADA, reasonable accommodations, and hiring/retaining individuals with disabilities?

It is important to first learn about your One-Stop’s business relations strategy and overall approach with the business community. As one of the key principles of the Workforce Investment Act, local areas have increased flexibility to implement innovative and comprehensive workforce investment systems tailored to meet the particular needs of local and regional labor markets. In order to learn more about your One-Stop’s business relations approach, meet with your center’s business service team and LWIB staff. These people work directly with employers every day and have extensive knowledge about the business needs and perceptions in your area. They also will most likely have established relationships with your local Chambers of Commerce and Human Resource Councils. Ask questions about how the local business community perceives employees with disabilities, the ADA, and working with community service providers. What areas would they like more information on and what myths, if any, are held about employing people with disabilities? The answers to these questions will provide a framework on how to work with One-Stop staff in responding to employers’ needs. In addition, there are excellent online resources that provide insight to the type of helpful information employers could use, such as information on tax incentives, myths on hiring/retaining individuals with disabilities, reasonable accommodation costs and valuable resources that provide sound advice on the ADA. This type of information, along with the business case on hiring/retaining individuals with disabilities can be shared with the One-Stop business services team and LWIB staff, so that it may be incorporated into their outreach strategies to employers. Here are some helpful resources to use when developing linkages with One-Stop business service teams, LWIBs, and employers:

Note to DPNs: If you have comments, suggestions or questions relating to the above topic, please email DJ Diamond at ddiamond@ndi-inc.org . They may be added to this FAQ and the archived one on the One-Stop Toolkit website.