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A businesswoman in a wheelchair with a disability looking at the digital tablet with her business partner

Building an inclusive culture, as discussed in an earlier section, takes thought, time, and commitment. In order to be attractive as an employer to candidates with disabilities you will want to be able to demonstrate and communicate your inclusion practices and organizational accessibility goals to job applicants.

This section is a brief introduction to accessibility in your hiring and recruitment process. You can also learn about accessible (as well as diverse, equitable, and inclusive) hiring and recruitment in more detail in our Illuminate Opportunity toolkit.

Accessibility in your hiring


Using effective outreach and recruitment strategies is essential to building a qualified and diverse workforce. To effectively build a pipeline of qualified applicants with disabilities, employers will need to engage in a variety of recruitment practices, including connecting with disability-serving organizations and using targeted recruitment and social networking sites so that job seekers with disabilities can learn about your organization.


To maximize a company’s ability to attract qualified individuals with disabilities, it is important to communicate your commitment to employing individuals with disabilities and information about the inclusive and diverse work environment you offer or are building. Communication can be virtual (on your company website, or through your job advertisements), written (in your communications with disability-serving organizations or other networks) and word-of-mouth at networking events or in your community more generally. Communication about your commitment to inclusion is also self-fulfilling; the more employees with disabilities work for your organization, the more you are demonstrating your commitment in action.


When advertising jobs, the ad should note the availability of accommodations for the application process, as well as for the job itself. Organizations should use an accessible online application process and should consider building in flexible processes around interviewing, such as providing interview questions in advance, or considering conducting interviews in-person, over the phone and by videoconferencing. 

Organizations should review the job descriptions and essential functions of all positions to determine whether they help or hinder the hiring and advancement of qualified persons with disabilities. Aspects of a job that are considered “bona fide occupational requirements” should be reviewed carefully to assess what is truly needed in the role. 

Reducing Bias in the Selection Process

Unconscious bias is an innate human characteristic; even open-minded and well-meaning individuals unwittingly allow unconscious feelings to guide their decision-making. In other words, the sincerest corporate commitment to inclusion and diversity may be derailed by biases that employers and hiring managers don’t even realize they have. Some approaches to reducing unconscious bias include developing an awareness of your own biases, having a structured interview process, and using a panel for interviewing candidates.

Useful Resources