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Information & Resources for Employers

Top Resources

Why Hiring Someone With Down Syndrome Makes Good Business Sense
People with disabilities have historically faced enormous hurdles to getting a job. But the facts show that businesses can actually boost their competitive edge by making people with disabilities an integral part of their workforce and their customer base.
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Regional Employment Collaboratives (REC)
The MDSC is partnering with Employment First Massachusetts and their Regional Employment Collaboratives throughout the state, helping employers find qualified, pre-screened candidates with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Employment liaisons in each region help employers determine needs and match job opportunities. Join a job developers network to coordinate efforts and share job leads.
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Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts
Released by the MA Department of Developmental Services in late 2014, lays out a proactive plan to increase integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and sets forth a path for the state to be a national leader by closing its sheltered workshops and transforming its center-based work model to community-based work.
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The Value that Employees with Down Syndrome Can Add to Organizations
McKinsey & Company’s report, funded by Brazil’s Instituto Alana, on the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in the job market, which finds mutual gains for employees and employers. People with Down syndrome involved in such initiatives have a better quality of life and opportunities for development, while the companies that employ them often report significant improvements in their “organizational health”.
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What Else Can I Do to Create an Inclusive Work Environment?
There’s a wide range of practices, policies, programs and outreach that will help employees with disabilities feel more welcomed and allow them to succeed at your company. These steps will send a message to prospective employees and the general public alike that you’re an employer who truly values inclusion.
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Resources for Employers
This resources page from EARN is designed to help employers build inclusive workplace cultures that are welcoming of people with disabilities.
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Massachusetts Resources

Work Without Limits
Employing people with disabilities is an innovative and effective strategy for realizing a dedicated workforce. Work Without Limits aims to provide employers with the information, resources and technical assistance they need to hire, train, manage, accommodate and promote people with disabilities within their workforces.
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MassMATCH Employer Resources
Massachusetts’ initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer’s Hands through partnerships with community-based organizations. Their mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life’s activities, including employment.
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Transitions to Work for Employers
“Transitions to Work” can help your company develop inclusive hiring practices and attract, hire and retain qualified, committed candidates for appropriate employment opportunities. The program has a successful track record in finding candidates that meet your needs and ultimately benefit your business.
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Employing People with Disabilities
Small business employers agree that employing people with disabilities is good business. Citizens with disabilities in Massachusetts are working in positions ranging from executives in Fortune 500 companies to professionals in health care as well as entry level positions in retail and hospitality. Includes common questions and answers to help you with hiring and employing people with disabilities.
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Hiring People with Disabilities

Leading Practices on Disability Inclusion
A collaborative initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) to share creative inclusion practices that succeed. Includes a series of brief case studies that highlights specific strategies that businesses of all sizes can use to create a more inclusive workplace, marketplace, and supply chain.
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Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities: A Resource Guide for Employers
Identifies relevant federal and federally-funded resources for employers looking to recruit, hire, retain, and promote people with disabilities. Designed to answer common questions raised by employers and help implement commonsense solutions to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to obtain and succeed in good jobs and careers.
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Tax Incentives for Businesses
Provides information on the tax incentives that are available to help employers cover the cost of accommodations for employees with disabilities and to make their places of business accessible for employees and/or customers with disabilities.
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Focus on Ability: Interviewing Applicants with Disabilities
The job interview plays a critical role in the hiring process, allowing employers the opportunity to identify the individual who possesses the best mix of knowledge, skills and abilities for the position available. Here are best practices for conducting a job interview when the applicant happens to have a disability.
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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Primer for Small Businesses
Provides an overview of the basic employment provisions of the ADA as they relate to employees and job applicants.
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Employers and the ADA: Myths and Facts
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities by eliminating barriers to their participation in many aspects of living and working in America. In particular, the ADA prohibits covered employers from discriminating against people with disabilities in the full range of employment-related activities, from recruitment to advancement, to pay and benefits.
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Disability Discrimination – U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission
Explains how to comply with the ADA’s nondiscrimination standards when hiring and employing people with disabilities.
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SBA Guide on Hiring People with Disabilities
From the US Small Business Administration, a guide on how to take advantage of various programs that encourage the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities. This will also make you eligible for tax credits that help cover the cost of accommodations for employees with disabilities. While this is an excellent way to expand and enhance your business, keep in mind that you will need to comply with certain legal requirements concerning the accommodation of employees with disabilities.
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Best Buddies Start Hiring Page
Tips for how to start hiring people with disabilities as well as other listed resources.
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Tax Benefits and Credits 
An IRS publication presenting basic information about existing tax credits and benefits for businesses and other entities wishing to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
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Employers’ Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Overview of some of the most frequent issues that employers have regarding accommodations and ADA compliance and practical ideas for resolving them.
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The JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit for Employers
JAN’s Workplace Accommodation Toolkit is a free, comprehensive online resource for employers seeking to move beyond basic compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to create more disability-inclusive workplaces.
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Small Employers and Reasonable Accommodation
Answers some of the key questions facing small businesses in connection with reasonable accommodations, explains obligations of both employers and individuals with disabilities, and reviews the limits on how far employers must go in providing reasonable accommodations.
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Additional Information

Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Operating under the Department of Labor, ODEP’s mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Website includes a wealth of information on everything related to disability employment.
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Training and Consulting Services for Employers
The Work Without Limits team of disability experts and consultants provide a wide range of training and consulting services for employers. These services support the entire employment process from recruitment and hiring to accommodation, performance management and career advancement.
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Employer Resources from the Campaign for Disability Employment
Includes additional resources about good workplace practices for all employees.
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