Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , , , , , ,| By
The topic of job creation might not be one you are thinking of now, but it is one that you should be considering as we look planning and working towards rebuilding our companies. We are presented with a very unique opportunity as we rebuild to think strategically on future job creation and how we can create inclusive hiring programs in underrepresented areas including people with disabilities. This podcast is sponsored by WorkMarket, an ADP Company.
Episode 230: Accessibility, Training and Job Creation with Shane Kanady of @SourceAmerica
This episode of the Workology Podcast is part of our Future of Work series powered by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. In honor of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this July, we’re investigating what the next 30 years will look like for people with disabilities at work, and the potential of emerging technologies to make workplaces more inclusive and accessible. Today, I’m joined by Shane Kanaday. He’s the Vice President of Workforce Development at Source America. Source America is a non-profit that connects customers to a national network of nonprofits who hire talented people with disabilities. Through this valuable network of nonprofits and their employees, Source America supplies products and services that meet the strictest quality standards at a competitive price.
The Biggest Challenges Job Seekers with Disabilities Have in the Workforce Today
Fundamentally, Shane says the biggest challenge that we see is a failure to recognize that persons with disabilities are diverse and have no shortage of skills or experiences that make them as important to the labor market as their non-disabled peers. He says this lack of recognition is pervasive and is long-standing. It is really the starting point for under-investment in accessible and inclusive education, training programs, recruitment, interviewing practices and everything that follows that. These things all precede the conversation around employment. And what Source America has found is when employers and businesses fail to recognize the value of others and the barriers to their inclusion.
This was really profound for me because we really don’t know what we don’t know but together with allies and advocates we can help educate and drive awareness in accessibility and employment for people with disabilities.
Workforce planning needs to start now and as employers, we must take a look at new skill-building and staffing programs and initiatives. My hope is that we take this time to reflect. We know how competitive the market is for talent and where our gaps in skills, training, and people lie which means we can rebuild and taking what we know using it to our advantage to create a truly inclusive workplace job creation and training program that taps into all different kinds of talent pools including people with disabilities.
What I love about Shane’s interview is all the resources and information that are at our disposal right now to create truly inclusive and innovative job creation programs whether we are private or public companies or industries. I encourage you to check out the resources in this episode’s show notes to connect with Source America as well as the wealth of resources that Shane mentions in the interview.
The future of work series in partnership with PEAT is one of my favorites. Thank you to PEAT as well as our podcast sponsor Workology.
Connect with Shane Kanady
- Buy IT!—Your Guide for Purchasing Accessible Technology
- COVID-19 is reshaping the future of work for people with (shorter Medium article)
- How COVID-19 is Reshaping the Future of Work for Persons with Disabilities (full paper)
- Podcast transcript
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