Strategies for Encouraging Self-Identification

QWE Practice Guideline: 162 – Empower employees with disabilities to maximize their employment potential

Target group: Any organization interested in fostering a work environment where employees feel comfortable self-identifying as individuals with a disability

Practice Summary

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has provided a set of strategies that will help organizations create a work environment that encourages individuals with disabilities to self-identify.

Practice Implementation

  • EARN has defined 12 strategies for creating a disability-inclusive work culture that is supportive and encouraging for self-identification of disabilities
  • The 12 strategies are
    • Include disability in your company's diversity statement
    • Enhance recruitment efforts to better target and appeal to job seekers with disabilities
    • Create accessible and universally designed workplaces, spaces, processes, and opportunities
    • Invite employees to disclose their disability through voluntary surveys
    • Conduct disability diversity training for staff
    • Enact flexible workplace policies and options
    • Design, implement, and communicate fair systems for staff to raise or address issues or complaints, including performance management issues
    • Develop and communicate a clear process for requesting and considering reasonable accommodations
    • Foster support supervisor-staff relationships
    • Implement a disability employee resource group that is open to anyone with an interest in disability issues
    • Think creatively
  • View the complete document with further details about each strategy and additional resources


  • By implementing some or all of these strategies, an organization can increase hiring and retention of people with disabilities, create and sustain a diverse and inclusive workplace, and achieve compliance with federal regulations

NPA: Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion
Location: Ithaca, NY
Date Submitted: 2022