How to Avoid Disability Discrimination in Your Job Advertisements

Portraying disabled workers in positive light

The best way to let people know that there are job openings in your company is to post job advertisements.  A basic job advertisement includes information about the role, skills required, and the application process.

Given that a large percentage of the skilled workforce in the America includes people with disabilities, you need to be careful when putting up job advertisements. You can’t afford to lose the potential interest of disabled candidates.

Sure, you probably would not directly say something like, ‘No Disabled Workers Allowed’. But even if you haven’t stated anything offensive, using the wrong words in your advertisement could cause these candidates to look elsewhere, and then you’ll lose out on a large pool of potential talent. Here’s how you can avoid unintentionally (or intentionally) discriminating against disabled applicants in your job postings.

Use Differently-Formatted Job Ads

When you’re posting a job ad, ensure that you do so in a variety of formats so that it can be accessed by applicants with different types of disabilities. For example, you could use braille or voice messages to reach out to blind workers. A suitable candidate would be able to apply only when he/she is able to access and understand your job advertisement.

You will also need to figure out how to adjust your recruitment process so that the application forms are available in a variety of formats. This will allow candidates with various disabilities to apply for the role much more easily.

Video Advertising Can Be Tricky

Be especially careful when you’re advertising a job through video content. Your video should not in any way suggest that the workplace is not welcoming or comfortable for people with disabilities.

If possible, include an employee with a disability in your video in order to show that your company is open to hiring all kinds of workers. Upon seeing this, disabled workers will send in their applications without the fear of being discriminated against.

Maybe you can even include a few clips of your office environment to show that your workplace provides equal opportunity to all workers.

Avoid Discriminatory Language

Although unintentional, many employers include discriminatory language in their advertisements, whether through videos, pictures, or newspaper postings.

Try to remove phrases such as, ‘looking for active, energetic employees’. You’re sure to find enthusiastic disabled workers who are excited about what they do. However, they may not think that they fit the description of what you consider active, so using a phrase like this could put them off.

Avoid using phrases like, ‘not suitable for people with mental health issues’, or the obvious, ‘not suitable for those with disabilities’. These are also immediate turn offs to any disabled worker.

Be Objective about the Role

Be as objective as possible about the role and ensure that the advertisement showcases only the essential requirements of the job.

If you are on the hunt for a delivery boy, it is necessary to mention that your employees need a driving license. However, if the job you are advertising is based in the office, avoid making statements like, ‘candidates need to be able to drive’. This statement is discriminating against those who are unable to drive.

Positive Discrimination Works

According to the law, discrimination in favor of disabled employees is allowed in job advertisements.

You can use this law to your advantage in order to gather a rich pool of talent for your recruitment process. You could include a line in your job advertisement that states that you prefer hiring disabled workers, or that disabled workers can head directly to the interview round if they have the right credentials. This will give your company a positive image, and you’ll have a steady stream of skilled candidates applying for jobs.

People with disabilities are discriminated against on a regular basis in their daily lives. This makes them hesitant to apply for jobs, as they fear that they would be rejected despite being qualified. Lay their fears to rest by crafting the perfect job advertisement that makes them feel accepted and gives them the confidence to apply. It is always important to portray your company as a place that provides equal opportunities for all.