Guest Writer: Brad Kraus
Edited by: Dr. Deborah Marynak
In my 50+ years in Dentistry, I have yet to visit an office equipped to accommodate candidates for employment with disabilities. We design our offices to accommodate patients with disabilities, but what about individuals who are well equipped to handle the day-to-day operation of the administrative duties?
It can be difficult for individuals with disabilities to navigate the typical workplace. As a business owner, you might be ready to make a commitment to recruiting and investing in employees with a wide range of abilities. Here, we explain few ways you can support employees with disabilities in your dental practice.
1. Optimize Your Job Descriptions
When you open a new role, you need to make it clear that your practice welcomes candidates with disabilities. Your job description should clearly highlight the benefits that you offer, such as your health insurance packages, remote or hybrid work opportunities, mentorship opportunities, and your commitment to making reasonable accommodations. Make sure to include specific job requirements and other desired skills and qualities. Keep job descriptions up to date to ensure that all of the information is relevant.
2. Start a Targeted Internship Program
Consider starting an internship program in your practice, open to people with disabilities who are just starting out in their careers! You can join an association called NACE; this association, established in 1956, stands for the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
NACE is a professional organization that connects over 13,700 college career services, professionals, university relations, and recruiting professionals, with business solution providers that serve your community. You can improve your internship program by connecting with a program coordinator who has extensive knowledge of disability rights and accommodations. They are knowledgeable in ensuring all hiring and onboarding materials and processes are clear and accessible.
3. Change Your Recruiting Strategy
Perhaps you’re wondering how you can go about actively recruiting candidates with disabilities outside of your structured internship program. TLNT, the industry leader in HR news and insights, recommends expanding your candidate search by signing up for booths at job fairs, making connections with organizations that support people with disabilities, and advertising on online job boards for workers with disabilities.
You can also work directly with colleges - get in touch with career center employees at major universities and community colleges near you, and let them know that you are strengthening your recruitment efforts for job candidates with disabilities.
4. Accessibility in the Office
Accessibility in the office, and even in regard to remote work tools, is a major concern for workers with disabilities. How can you ensure that your practice is truly accessible, whether your operations are in-person, hybrid, or remote? Naturally, you will need to establish reasonable accommodations to fulfil requests from your employees.
In addition, you can pre-emptively explore accessible technology options that can be implemented as necessary, like transcripts, websites designed with screen readers in mind, and more. You may want to speak with a disability consultant about emerging accessibility technology in your field. They can help you choose technology that best meets your team’s needs.
It’s one thing to hire employees with disabilities, and it’s another to truly invest in their futures. By starting a structured mentorship program, you can ensure that all of your employees get the support they need, particularly those who have dealt with obstacles or outright discrimination at other jobs. With a defined mentorship program, you can pair each employee with an experienced team member who has been with your practice for several years.
This provides them with a go-to contact person who they can turn to for professional development advice. Knowing that you are investing equally in the professional paths of your employees, regardless of their background, will tell your team that you care deeply about their success and accomplishments.
Workers with disabilities face many challenges in traditional work environments. But you can go above and beyond for your employees with these recommendations. By implementing these suggestions, you’ll be able to create a truly inclusive workplace for your entire team.
Dental Staffing is your #1 dental job search and job posting board. We connect dental job seekers with employers!
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes
doesn't mean he lacks vision.”
- Stevie Wonder
"Brad Krause created Self Caring after years spent putting his own self-care on the back burner. His goal now is to educate people on the importance of self-care by providing tips and tricks that are easy to implement."
The typical workplace - https://www.cultureamp.com/blog/disability-employment-barriers
Dental Staffing explains - https://www.dentalstaffing.org/?orig_url=dentalstaffing.org
Job description - https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/improve-hiring/
Recommends - https://www.naceweb.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/individuals-with-disabilities/building-an-inclusive-internship-or-apprenticeship-program-from-the-ground-up/ AND
Fulfill - https://www.cshlaw.com/resources/what-is-a-reasonable-accommodation-in-the-workplace/
Explore - https://womenlovetech.com/how-technology-is-furthering-accessibility/
Invest - https://www.pushfar.com/article/the-importance-of-mentoring-for-disability-inclusion/