The selection process under the Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA]
The selection process may be one of the most difficult for managers when it comes to recruiting and interviewing applicants with disabilities. While it may be a natural tendency to focus on an employee’s disability itself, there are many ways for employers to remain focused on the employee’s ability to perform the essential duties of the position.
For example, if a requirement of the position involves travelling between locations, you might ask, “the position you are interested in required approximately 75% travel to other locations in the market. Are you able to accommodate this travel?” Another efficient and effective way to determine an employee’s ability is that many disabled individuals are represented by agencies that are well acquainted with each employee’s skills and limitations. These agencies may be consulted to determine the individual’s job qualifications and any applicable accommodations.
You may not ask straight-forward if an applicant has a disability or ask questions that are directed towards an individuals’ disability. Here are some examples of questions that you may not ask applicants during the interview process:
- “Do you have any disabilities I can’t see?”
- “Do you have cancer?”
- “You’re in a wheelchair. How will you be able to get around as necessary?”
Here is one final tip for managing employees with disabilities: never stereotype employees with disabilities. Employers often assume that disabled employees are difficult to manage, are frequently tardy or absent, more accident-prone, and are insurance risks, when these are all incorrect a majority of the time. By following these guidelines, you will be ready and prepared to recruit, manage, and accommodate employees with disabilities.