In only a few short weeks, the #SHRM17 Blog Squad will join thousands of attendees in New Orleans for the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition. Each of us, and each of you, bring a variety of experiences, knowledge, and abilities to the table. And, yes, we have a “seat at the table” (disclaimer: try not to use that HR catchphrase around Mary Faulkner)!
I’m always fascinated by the variety of ways HR professionals choose to share their expertise and areas of passion. While I refine my own story, I’m mostly preparing myself mentally for the onslaught of sales pitches in the Expo Hall and awkward professional introductions in line for coffee before the Monday morning mega session (what up, Laszlo?). The conversation starters “What do you do?” or “Who do you work for?” will be thrown around in almost every networking or connection event. It’s no surprise either. A job provides us with a sense of purpose, shaping who we are and the role we play in the industry or our community.
Some people don’t have the opportunity to answer those typical networking questions, however. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability is 10.7 percent, more than double that of those with no disability at 5.1 percent. And even that is a conservative view, as it fails to factor in the many people with a disability who are no longer actively seeking employment due to years of disappointment attributed to bias, discrimination, or failure to provide adequate accommodations.
Let’s buck this disappointing trend. I’ll be doing all I can to learn more about what companies and HR professionals can do to support disability employment. For folks with a similar passion or reason for being “all in” – here’s a list of sessions with disability-related topics during #SHRM17:
- Avoiding the Wrath of the EEOC: Five Steps for Staying ADA-Compliant
- The Employee Accommodation Conundrum Part 2: How to Handle Complex Accommodation Requests
- When Performance Meets Protected Right
- Complex Leave Issues: Intersection of the ADA and FMLA
- How to Navigate Mental Disabilities in the Workplace
See you in N’Awlins!