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Your UCP: National October 13, 2003

Fact Sheets

Employment Checklist For Hiring Persons With Disabilities


  • Do
  • learn where to find and recruit people with disabilities.

  • Don't
  • assume that persons with disabilities are unemployable.
  • Do
  • learn how to communicate with people who have disabilities.
  • Don't
  • assume that persons with disabilities lack the necessary education and training for employment.
  • Do
  • ensure that your applications and other company forms do not ask disability-related questions and that they are in formats that are accessible to all persons with disabilities.
  • Don't
  • assume that persons with disabilities do not want to work.
  • Do
  • consider having written job descriptions that identify the essential functions of the job.
  • Don't
  • assume that alcoholism and drug abuse are not real disabilities, or that recovering drug abusers are not covered by the ADA.
  • Do
  • ensure that requirements for medical examinations comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Don't
  • ask if a person has a disability during an employment interview.
  • Do
  • relax and make the applicant feel comfortable.
  • Don't
  • assume that certain jobs are more suited to persons with disabilities.
  • Do
  • provide reasonable accommodations that the qualified applicant will need to compete for the job.
  • Don't
  • hire a person with a disability if that person is a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the public and there is no reasonable accommodation to reduce the risk or the harm.
  • Do
  • know that among those protected by the ADA are qualified individuals who have AIDS, cancer, who are mentally retarded, traumatically brain injured, deaf, blind, and learning disabled.
  • Don't
  • hire a person with a disability who is not qualified to perform the essential functions of the job even with a reasonable accommodation.
  • Do
  • understand that access includes not only environmental access, but also making forms accessible to people with visual or cognitive disabilities and making alarms/signals accessible to people with hearing disabilities.
  • Don't
  • assume that your current management will need special training to learn how to work with people with disabilities.
  • Do
  • develop procedures for maintaining and protecting confidential medical records. Do train supervisors on making reasonable accommodations.
  • Don't
  • assume that the cost of accident insurance will increase as a result of hiring a person with a disability.
  • Don't
  • assume that the work environment will be unsafe if an employee has a disability.
  • Don't
  • assume that reasonable accommodations are expensive.
  • Don't
  • speculate or try to imagine how you would perform a specific job if you had the applicant's disability.
  • Don't
  • assume that you don't have any jobs that a person with a disability can do.
  • Don't
  • make medical judgements.
  • Don't
  • assume that a person with a disability can't do a job due to apparent and non-apparent disabilities.
  • Don't
  • assume that your workplace is accessible.

How Do I Know If My Worksite Is Accessible?

The following are some questions to keep in mind when determining physical accessibility:

  • Are there designated parking spaces for persons with disabilities that are close to the entrance of the worksite?
  • Is there a pathway without abrupt level changes or steps that leads from the parking area to the entrance?
  • If ramps are used to provide access, are they appropriately graded and are handrails provided?
  • Are the doors wide enough (36 inches) for people using wheelchairs?
  • Are they easy to open (e.g., not excessively heavy, with easily grasped handles, or automatic)? Is the personnel office in an accessible location?
  • Are pathways to the bathroom, water fountain, and public telephone accessible? Can people with disabilities use them?
  • Are elevators accessible to all persons with disabilities (e.g., control panels lower than 54 inches from the floor, raised symbols or numbers on the control panels)?
  • Is all signage appropriate and accessible for persons with visual, learning, and cognitive disabilities (including the use of symbols and graphics)?
  • Does the emergency warning system include both audible and visual alarms?
Where Can I Obtain Additional Information?

Office of Disability Employment Policy (202) 693-7880 (VOICE), (202) 376-6205 (TTY/TTD), (202) 693-7888 (FAX)

Office of Disability Employment Policy's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) (800) 526-7234 (VOICE/TTY/TTD), (304) 293-5407 (FAX) jan@jan.icdi.wvu.edu

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs) (800) 949-4232 (VOICE/TTY/TTD), (703) 525-6835 (FAX)

Access Board (VOICE) (800) 872-2253, (202) 272-5449 or (800) 993-2822 (TTY/TTD), (202) 272-5447 (FAX)

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disabilitiy Employment Policy, July 1996

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