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Be a Disability Ally: Adopt an Inclusive Vocabulary in Job Descriptions

By October 15, 2018 No Comments
October 15, 2018 / by Liz Kofman, Ph.D.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. Awareness is imperative and when combined with action is becomes effective. An estimated 20% of all Americans have a disability. However, less than 5% of the current workforce has a disability. This means there remains untapped talent that is being ignored or actively discouraged from applying for your open roles. Let’s change that!

It’s time to take action. One simple thing you can do is take a careful look at the next job description or advertisement you post. Are there words in there that may send the signal to someone with a disability that your workplace is not inclusive? Here are a few examples to be aware of in your postings that may dissuade people with disabilities from applying for your open position:

  • No lame software here, we work with the best in the business. Lame refers to someone with physical or mobility disabilities. It’s not inclusive to compare something you don’t like to a disability.
  • We work crazy fast! Using “crazy” or “insane” can be hurtful to people with mental illness. A simple “really fast” will do.
  • You’re OCD when it comes to details. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder and shouldn’t be talked about lightly. Use an alternative like “perfectionist” or “particular” instead.

While the above are some easy examples it’s a more challenging task than it appears. Writing a job description for diversity requires your people to know the problematic words, terms, and phrases to avoid and trust that they’ll produce an optimized and inclusive advert that will attract candidates no matter their gender, race, ethnicity, or disability.

Request your free walk through of the TalVista platform and learn how the software is designed to make all job descriptions more inclusive by automatically scanning for words that may discourage applicants from underrepresented groups.

For more information, visit www.talvista.com

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