A tech worker with visual impairment uses assistive technology while visiting the Microsoft office in Singapore.

Your questions answered – what jobseekers with disabilities must know to enter right now’s job market

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October is Nationwide Incapacity Employment Consciousness Month (NDEAM), a time to rejoice the contributions of America’s staff with disabilities, previous and current, whereas working to attain parity with this yr’s theme “Incapacity: A part of the Fairness Equation.”  

At Microsoft, we imagine individuals with disabilities positively impression our firm tradition, working setting and the way we serve our prospects. By partnerships throughout the incapacity neighborhood, we’re working to assist cut back the unemployment price for individuals with disabilities across the globe. So far, we’ve hosted Neurodiversity Hiring occasions, created an inclusive interview course of, educated and educated our groups on incapacity etiquette, and supplied a spread of interview lodging to extend the range of our groups, and positively impression the tradition of our office. 

Nevertheless, there’s way more to do. I lately spoke with Susan Lang, Founding CEO of Lime Join, the most important community globally of high-potential college college students and professionals who’ve disabilities. Susan and I are sharing our solutions to the ‘prime 5 most typical questions’ from jobseekers.      

1. What ought to I search for in an inclusive employer for individuals with disabilities? 

Susan Lang: Discovering the best firm could be simply as essential as discovering the best function on your expertise and expertise.  To get a greater understanding of an organization’s tradition and the way they view incapacity inclusion you will discover out rather a lot on their web site.  Search for illustration of staff with disabilities and any info on worker useful resource teams for individuals with disabilities.  Does their variety assertion embrace incapacity?  If you’re making use of for a job on their careers website, is it simple to seek out info relating to the best way to obtain interview lodging? 

Neil Barnett: Many employers have hiring packages particularly for neurodiverse candidates or candidates with disabilities.  To search out lists of employers centered on incapacity inclusion, search for partnership with organizations like Lime Join & Incapacity:IN. We share the most recent information about accessibility at Microsoft and assets to study extra about our hiring packages on the Microsoft Accessibility website.  

2. What lodging can I request for an interview? 

Susan Lang: It’s useful to first discover out as a lot as doable in regards to the interview construction.  This consists of the variety of interviews in a day, size of interview(s), forms of questions (behavioral, technical), and format –cellphone, video name or in-person.  Ask the recruiter questions so you will have a greater concept of what to anticipate.  Having this info will allow you to establish what lodging to request that can allow you to deal with demonstrating your expertise, strengths, and match for the place.  

Neil Barnett: We wish you to shine in interviews so at Microsoft we have interaction in an interactive course of with the candidate to decide efficient, affordable lodging.  We attempt for our candidates to really feel arrange for fulfillment to allow them to have a barrier free expertise sharing their expertise and expertise. Among the most typical lodging requests we obtain embrace additional time for interviews, much less interviews in a day, having the ability to utilize your personal machine, longer breaks between interviews, time for on-line technical screens, signal language interpreters and CART/Captions.    

3. Why would I need to request an lodging when making use of for a job? 

Susan Lang: It’s about success on each side of the equation.  Requesting lodging through the screening and interview stage units you up for fulfillment through the course of and permits you to deal with sharing your expertise and talents with out having to fret about having your wants met.  The employer reveals they’re invested in you, and so they need you to succeed. It’s alternative to evaluate your potential employer and the way supportive they are going to be for workers with disabilities within the office.   

Neil Barnett: Interviewing is a two-way course of. By providing an lodging through the screening and interview course of, the employer is displaying that they’re invested in you and so they need you to succeed. It’s alternative to evaluate your potential employer and the way supportive they are going to be for workers with disabilities within the office.  Throughout a latest Potential Summit session, Using Disabled Expertise:  A possibility to cease the expertise drain, two Microsoft staff shared their expertise requesting lodging through the utility stage.   

“I’d advise the candidate to not be shy. I at all times say that the incapacity shouldn’t be a lot within the particular person, as within the setting. Firms will need to have a dedication to create an accessible setting for all staff and candidates. By no means hesitate to ask for the lodging that you simply want.”
– Juanjo Montiel, Senior Software program Engineer, Microsoft 

4. Do I’ve to reveal my incapacity or present paperwork to request lodging for interviews? 

Susan Lang: Every employer could have a special course of or ask for various types of documentation.  As a member of the Lime Community, you may schedule an appointment with a Profession Coach to debate whether or not disclosure is best for you and develop an motion plan to navigate the lodging request course of with every firm and all through your profession search. 

Neil Barnett: When making use of to Microsoft, you don’t want to reveal specifics about your incapacity when requesting lodging, however it’s essential to establish your wants, so the interview groups can present a collaborative and inclusive expertise. Microsoft doesn’t require that you simply disclose your incapacity or present medical documentation for interview lodging.   

5. How and when ought to I disclose/discuss my incapacity throughout an interview? 

Susan Lang:  When you’ve decided that you’ll disclose your incapacity, the timing of the communication will usually depend upon the rationale you’re disclosing.  If you must request an lodging for an interview, it would be best to have that dialog nicely prematurely of the interview to make sure there’s time to get the lodging in place. If you’re on the lookout for a possibility to spotlight an accomplishment or the talents you will have developed because of dwelling together with your incapacity, you could search for a query through the interview itself that permits you to share these examples. Whatever the purpose, you solely must share the small print about your incapacity which can be most related to the dialog and bear in mind to maintain it easy. If you’re requesting an lodging, deal with figuring out your wants and highlighting instruments or lodging that be just right for you in different settings. You probably know what works greatest for you and might work collaboratively together with your potential employer to give you options that result in your success. We love using metaphors or tales when disclosing, and don’t neglect to follow your disclosure dialog with a pal or a Lime Join profession coach so that you simply really feel assured navigating any dialogue about your incapacity.  

Neil Barnett: Deciding whether or not to reveal your incapacity is a private alternative.  As an individual with a incapacity, you deliver distinctive strengths and expertise to your future employer. You might also have experiences or views that assist inform the best way to make merchandise, providers, and firms extra accessible, which might be a price add to any firm.  

If you’re enthusiastic about studying extra about working at Microsoft, you may be a part of one among our month-to-month Inclusive Hiring webinars. Every webinar is hosted by recruiters and members of the Microsoft Inclusive Hiring staff and focuses on the hiring utility course of and requesting interview lodging.  Attendees even have an opportunity to listen to from members of the Microsoft incapacity worker useful resource group (ERG), on what it’s wish to work at Microsoft. Register by visiting aka.ms/InclusiveHiringWebinar. 

And, college college students and professionals with all disabilities are inspired to take a look at Lime Join’s website and be a part of The Lime Community to entry a full vary of packages and providers that present instruments, self-confidence, neighborhood, and connections that assist disabled people obtain their desires. 

To make sure that disability is a part of broader fairness discussions and efforts, it should take an accelerated dedication from all corners, the enterprise neighborhood, authorities businesses, service suppliers and nonprofits to work in direction of finally enhance incapacity illustration within the workforce. 

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