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Hidden Talent: How Leading Companies Hire, Retain, and Benefit from People with Disabilities

Editor: Mark L. Legnick-Hall
(Hardcover, 168 Pages)

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990 to protect and assist over 20 million people with disabilities. Though its mandates for business are far-reaching, many forms of discrimination are still practiced, denying opportunity for employees and potential employees with disabilities, as well as the companies that might hire and support them. Meanwhile, as many analysts argue, we are heading toward a high-skill labor shortage, with a largely untapped resource ready to fill the gap.

Based on a multi-year research project by a team of experts in human resource management, economics, and communications, Hidden Talent showcases the innovative practices of organizations that are actively hiring, training, and retaining people with disabilities - and thriving as a result. The authors reveal the roots of disability discrimination, and demonstrate the benefits, to employers and employees alike, of investing in disabled workers, featuring in-depth case examples. Additional resources, including an overview of the ADA, information on tax and legal incentives, and a listing of related publications, organizations, and websites, will make this book essential for anyone researching, managing, or experiencing the dynamics of disability in the workplace.

This book is not light reading. It is a collection of scholarly papers and research that make a convincing case for the need to increase the workforce participation rates of people with disabilities - and some fundamental "how to"s which are based on the best practices of several successful companies.

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING:

"Editor Lengnick-Hall compiles new essays and case studies (not previously published) about how companies have benefited from the hiring and retaining of people with disabilities. The pieces include suggestions on how to create organizational cultures and climates that are disability-friendly. Unlike in many books that present strategies for people entering the workforce with disabilities, these contributors (mostly academics) focus on companies that are leaders in hiring, retaining, and valuing employees with disabilities, illustrating principles that can improve any organization that is committed to a diverse workforce....Helpful appendixes include a list of federal tax incentives for hiring people with disabilities, a list of government agencies and business-sponsored organizations that help in the hiring of people with disabilities, and an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The distinct research and presentations make this volume suitable for most public and academic libraries."

- Library Journal, September 2007

"Lengnick-Hall has edited a highly readable and informative book that attempts to persuade readers of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Although employers may be hesitant to hire disabled persons for various reasons, Lengnick-Hall and his academic and research colleagues dispel myths surrounding disabled employees, citing examples of companies that were proactive in hiring the disabled and "thrived as a result." The seven case studies included in the text, each one its own chapter, read like a conversation, with practical advice and "lessons learned" provided at the end. Although brief, the seven case studies, along with the research discussed in the book, successfully highlight the message that hiring people with disabilities puts companies at a competitive advantage. Any individual interested in learning about this topic, and particularly managers in the early stages of changing organizational culture for purposes of being more disability-friendly, would gain from reading this book.... Recommended. General readers; all levels of undergraduate students; and practitioners." 

- Choice, October 2007

"This collection of articles and case studies shows how successful companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Dow Chemical Company, Microsoft and Marriott International have found a significant business case for hiring people with disabilities and creating a disability-friendly culture and climate. Along with these exemplars contributors describe why employers do not hire the disabled and how they learn about the high quality of work and loyalty of such employees and other incentives that go straight to the bottom line, such as tax incentives currently available."

- Reference & Research Book News, August 2007
 

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