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This is a Companion Training Manual to accompany the Corporation for National and Community Service publication Creating an Inclusive Environment: A Handbook for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in National and Community Service Programs. The Inclusion Handbook is available on-line at www.serviceandinclusion.org
, or you may call the National Service Inclusion Project at 888-491-0326 (voice/TTY) or email at email@example.com
Key Words and Terms
- Disability-Related Inquiry
The interview and selection process can be intimidating. Most errors are not intentionally discriminatory, but occur because the interviewer wants to help, desires more information, or wants to clarify information. An inclusive interview and selection process focuses on the essential functions of the position and the skills and abilities of the applicant. The existence of a disability is a secondary consideration, and in many cases may not even have any effect on the success of the service. The issues discussed in this chapter will guide you in developing an inclusive interview protocol. You may not ask disability-related questions and you may not request medical information prior to offering the position to the applicant. There are very specific rules to protect persons with disabilities. These rules protect the rights of all persons and allow applicants to be assessed on merit alone.
An inclusive manager focuses on an applicant’s abilities to perform the essential functions and not on speculation about possible disabilities. An interview is often a conversation, and conversations with different applicants will often cover topics in different ways. It is important, however, to ask ALL applicants the SAME questions. This will help ensure that you do not inadvertently obtain information from one applicant that you do not obtain from all applicants. If you require a medical examination after a contingent offer is made, you must require it of every applicant who is offered a similar position. You may not require a medical examination only for persons with disabilities or persons you might think have disabilities. You will need to justify any disqualification based on the results of the medical examinations as position-related and consistent with service necessity. This is a tricky area and caution is recommended. Additional information can be found in the Legal Requirements section (Section XII) of this Handbook. If you are unsure, it is strongly recommended that you seek additional technical assistance. This is available from the National Service Inclusion Project at www.serviceandinclusion.org
, or by phoning 888-491-0326 (voice/TTY).
Objectives for this Section
At the completion of this unit, each participant will:
- Understand the background and legal basis for civil protections in interviewing and selecting a qualified person with a disability for a service position
- Understand the significance of addressing accommodation requests before, during and after hiring a qualified applicant
- Develop an understanding of the policies and procedures for reasonable accommodations in the application and interview process
- Demonstrate knowledge of specific questions that are appropriate to ask of a person with a disability during an interview
- Members in service
- Members involved in capacity-building
- Service and volunteer program managers and staff
- Organization staff
- Organization Board of Directors
- Disability organizations
Visuals and Power Points recommended for this Section
Slides with Notes pages are found at the end of this section.
Activities included for this Section
- Qualified Individual Activity including Applicant Descriptions
- Essential Functions Group Activity including Sample AmeriCorps Service Descriptions – 14 pgs
- Interview and Selection Mingo
Handouts recommended for this Section
- Basic Tips on Inclusive Interviewing
- Interview and the Law
- Reasonable Accommodations Fact Sheet
- Requesting Documentation
- The Interview – For Applicants
- Use of Language and Basic Disability Etiquette
Supplies/equipment needed: (e.g. markers, flipcharts, LCD)
Use depends on your personal preferences, availability, and the activities chosen. Each activity lists any unique needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I ask disability-related questions or request medical information as part of my selection process?
- What do I do if an applicant raises the issue of his or her disability or requests accommodations during the interview?
- My interview process includes a financial disclosure. Sometimes my applicant receives Social Security Disability Benefits. After they have told me about this, can I ask what their disability is?
- My application process includes a medical examination (required of all applicants). On the form the MD fills out, there is a category called ‘functional limitations’. Can I use this information in hiring (or not hiring) or assigning the volunteer?
Useful references and resources for this Section
Frequently Asked Questions - Opening Doors to Service Inclusion in Action – Profiles of Alumni
See Appendix – References and Resources
Recruiting members with disabilities and using an inclusive application process- http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/epicenter/practices/index.php?_a...
After each numbered statement, indicate your current level of knowledge about the following topics on a scale of 1 - 5. 1= nothing, 2 = not much, 3 = somewhat, 4 = some, 5 = a lot
- The definition of disability
- Person-first language and etiquette
- Inclusive service description
- Legal responsibilities in interviewing and selecting people with disabilities in service positions
- Questions you can ask when interviewing qualified people with disabilities
- The kinds of accommodations you are required to make for applicants with disabilities in each stage of their interview process
- The policies and procedures about interviewing applicants with disabilities
- Who are 'qualified applicants' for service positions?