Businesswoman listening to disabled job candidate
(Credit: Wavebreakmedia / Getty Images)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor on Tuesday released a resource guide about recruiting, hiring and employing people with disabilities.

The guide comes as the federal government recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

“Individuals with disabilities have long faced unnecessary barriers to employment. The Rehabilitation Act helps ensure meaningful access and inclusion for qualified individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in a statement, saying that the commission “renews our commitment to enforcing this groundbreaking and vital disability rights law.”

The guide is meant to explain the roles that the agencies have in Rehabilitation Act enforcement, outreach and education. The agencies work together to support and administer provisions of the act and to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive equal employment opportunities in the federal sector and in federal contracting.

As the McKnight’s Business Daily previously reported, the employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities has never been better, according to a semi-monthly report issued in September by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability.

The federal guide comes as the Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to beef up efforts to prevent disability-based discrimination in healthcare. HHS on Thursday announced a proposed rule that seeks to strengthen efforts against disability-based discrimination. Specifically, the proposal would mandate that treatment decisions are not made based on preconceptions of a person’s disability.

“Employers need talent now, and jobseekers with disabilities have the skills to meet their needs,” said Office of Disability Employment Policy Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams. “This resource allows employers to build better, more inclusive workforces by expanding their recruiting methods to find the most qualified workers and adopt strategies that help them keep and advance their talents.”