Employers are advised not to discriminate any job applicant especially for those with disabilities. It's considered to be unlawful. But how can an employer properly communicate with a person with disability without being inappropriate?
Which questions are appropriate to ask and which ones aren't? What kind of etiquette rules apply when it comes to job candidates with disabilities? The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA has just the thing for employers, hiring managers and recruiters. Small Biz Trends came up with the top 10 things to remember for employers when it comes to interviewing Americans with disabilities, according to the ADA guidelines prescribed:
1. Advanced Preparation - Make sure your company's hiring and interview procedures comply with the ADA. Is your workplace accessible to persons with disabilities?
2. Don't Ask - Focus on the candidate's abilities to do the job. Never offer accommodations for the applicant. It's his right to request and the employer should provide a reasonable accommodation.
3. Inform Early - Let applicants know ahead of time if it will be necessary to take a tests or perform exams and to check for accommodations if necessary.
4. Time Allowance - Some candidates may require additional time for the interview or to take tests.
5. Speak Directly - When interviewing someone with a hearing loss, talk directly to the person and maintain eye contact rather than interacting with an interpreter or companion. Wait to speak until the person is looking at you.
6. Identify Yourself - When interviewing a visually-impaired candidate, identify yourself and others with you. It's nice to offer assistance but wait until the person accepts the offer, and then listen or ask for instructions regarding how to proceed. Don't be shocked if he refuses the offer.
7. Listen Attentively - Be sure to listen attentively to persons with difficulties in speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to complete the sentence. Do not finish the sentence for him. If you do not understand, ask him to repeat and allow time for him to respond.
8. Get on the Same Level - The wheelchair is part of the individual's personal space. Don't lean or hang on to it. Get on the same eye level with a wheelchair-bound applicant.
9. Hold Disabled People to the Same Standards as Everyone Else- Job applicants must meet the standards for the job and perform the "essential functions" of the job either on their own or with the aid of a reasonable accommodation.