Examines the practices that states are using to become “model employers,” including strategies being implemented to expand the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities within state government agencies.

“[…] For a growing number of government agencies, the desire to examine their services, programs, and recruitment, hiring, and other personnel policies to remove barriers to work for people with disabilities was part of a larger effort to promote greater employment opportunities both in the private sector and the public realm. In order to advance the employment of people with disabilities, a number of states looked to lead by example in making employment for people with disabilities a reality by becoming ‘model employers’” (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: States as Model Employers (SAME): Strategies for Moving People with Disabilities into Careers in State Government

Major Findings & Recommendations

“People with disabilities are not always considered prominently in state agency affirmative action language on hiring, and many states continue to face resource constraints to making the necessary changes that would improve access…. As noted in this brief, states with SAME efforts believe that state government can serve as an example and a resource to other employers interested in diversifying their workforces by hiring people with disabilities. States with limited resources can still make progress to expand and diversify their labor pools by pursuing several low- and no-cost activities. These short-term strategies include: • Examining existing state hiring policies and practices to incorporate more inclusive language. • Establishing internship opportunities in state agencies through partnerships between state agency hiring managers, vocational rehabilitation, community-based organizations, and secondary and postsecondary educational institutions. • Reviewing state application and testing processes, both online and in person, and putting in place strategies to improve the accessibility of both, if needed. • Engaging in proactive and targeted marketing of job openings to job seekers with disabilities, including but not limited to partnering with community-based organizations to reach out to job seekers so they are aware of and apply for job openings. • Developing and implementing stronger education, awareness, accommodation, and etiquette training of senior leaders, managers, supervisors, and other staff to create a more welcome environment for an increasingly diverse workforce” (p.7).(Abstractor: Author)