DISABILITY SELF-IDENTIFICATION INITIATIVES – We hear about them all the time, often how they’ve achieved less than desirable results. It’s true, industry, job type, geography, culture, etc., they’re all factors that influence self-identification. HOWEVER, “initiative” derived from the Latin ‘initium’, means ‘a beginning’.

I often ask the question, “What do you do in the beginning?” What specifically do you say to new hires about disability? Do you explain the ADA’s three part definition? Do you show employees a more extensive list of disabilities beyond the few included in Form CC-305? Most importantly, do you DISCUSS disability? How can an employee be expected to self-identity if they don’t understand the definition of disability and its application in the workplace?

Nearly all Federal contractors include all or part of their EO policy and form CC-305 in onboarding materials but few meaningfully discuss disability. Training leads to discussion – discussion leads to understanding – understanding yields results.

It only takes a few minutes to define and explain disability to your employees. Do this in the beginning, train it at least annually, and you‘ll see significant results in disability awareness and self-identification rates.

Nicolas Paul
Director of Compliance – Kairos