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Circa was recently joined by one of its community-based organizations, Best Buddies, on a webinar to focus on the employment of individuals with disabilities. Best Buddies provided insight into its job program that focuses on working alongside employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their employers, to provide support and accommodations to help the employee work independently.

See what benefits community-based organizations and IDDs can provide employers to create more inclusive workplaces.

Incorporate IDD’s into Your DEI Plan

Hiring individuals with disabilities is a great way to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organization. In a Harvard business review conducted in 2020, it was found that only about 4% of companies actually employ people with IDD in their DEI initiatives. This is a very low statistic when you note that 1 in 5 people in the general population has a disability. Additionally, a recent Gartner study found that by 2023 the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies reducing barriers to access. Including IDDs into your DEI plan helps to provide a more inclusive workplace that can help to increase productivity, attendance, diversity and more.

Watch Rachel from Best Buddies explain the benefits of hiring IDDs below.

Community-Based Organizations can Help You with IDDs

Best Buddies as well as many other community-based organizations have resources as well as staff that can help throughout the hiring process. This helps to ensure that the right accommodations are provided to IDDs to create a welcoming environment that they can bring their best self to. Best Buddies provides employers with job coaches who can help to assist with the hiring process and provides ongoing support to the employee and employer. This not only helps with the hiring of IDDs but also the retention of them as well. Materials can even be provided to help with interviewing and onboarding to ensure that the employee and employer are set up for success.

Treat IDDs liked Everyone Else

When looking to hire people with disabilities, there are some communication tips necessary to be aware of beforehand. Treating individuals with disabilities like everyone else is important. Obviously, some people in this community may not be as comfortable with eye contact or shaking hands, and that is why it is important to look at their body language and try to respond appropriately to that or to work with the organization to figure out what is best. A common misconception is to treat individuals with disabilities in a more child-like manner. If they are an adult, treat them as such. No one needs to be coddled or given excessive praise in their role, and people with disabilities are no different. If issues arise, handle them normally, and community-based organizations can also be present to help discuss and work out any issue that may arise.

Watch Casey an Ambassador from Best Buddies talk about his success in employment and why employers should hire more people like him!

Review Your Application Process

Applications can be very lengthy and have a wide variety of qualifications that can be daunting and a barrier for IDDs. Make sure that your applications are very accessible for all possible applicants. Also, consider alternative ways for applicants to apply if they may need assistance even including a number to call if they need help applying is a great resource to have available. If an applicant identifies as someone with disabilities, and they move forward in the application process, consider offering the interview questions ahead of time, so that they have time to formulate a quality and well-thought response. The application process can be a lot so reviewing all areas to catch any barriers for IDDs can be very helpful to ensure they can apply and have a chance to be hired.

Best Buddies is among the 15,500+ community-based organizations that are provided with Circa’s diversity recruiting solution. Learn more about how you can connect with more organizations like Best Buddies by scheduling a demo.


Katie Coleman
Product Marketing Manager
Jacob Diker
Circa Marketing Intern
Katie Coleman is a Product Marketing Manager at Circa. Based on her conversations and research, Katie produces webinars and writes articles on diversity and other employment-related topics to guide employers, employees and job seekers in their professional endeavors.

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