The team of highly skilled inclusion specialists with Disability Solutions has had a global impact on diversifying the workplace as the nonprofit marks its 5th year anniversary. (contributed photo)
BETHEL, CT - As a pioneer serving people with disabilities for more than 60 years, Ability Beyond knew they had the formula to create a successful nonprofit organization to meet a growing need. But the astounding achievements of their employer-focused consulting service, Disability Solutions, have had impact across the globe!
By utilizing their revolutionary five step plan, Disability Solutions consultants work with companies of all sizes to develop a strategic disability inclusion initiative for its workforce needs. Skilled DS consultants, with diverse professional backgrounds, tap new channels for qualified talent, navigate complex hiring systems, support culture change, leverage hiring incentives, and respond to a changing regulatory environment.
Disability Solutions marks its fifth anniversary with an impressive resume:
Client companies have hired over 300 employees to fill talent needs from entry to leadership level;
Partnered nationally and globally with major corporations across several industries- PepsiCo, Synchrony Financial, American Express, Staples, OfficeDepotMax, DB Schenker Aon Global, and Aramark to fill talent gaps;
Increased their reach from national to global over the past year;
Moved the needle on key HR benchmarks across their client base including an average 14% higher retention rate, 53% higher rate of self-disclosure, decreased time to fill key positions, and a range of diversity within disability including 21% veterans with disabilities;
Shared their expertise on diversity and workforce development as sought-after speakers at state and national human resource industry conferences;
Brought talent and talent partners together with employers to build much needed pipelines, and by facilitating training courses to prep hundreds of jobseekers and organizations for success;
Launched a national online career center to bring top employers and top talent together and to source talent directly for their corporate clients.
“Our service was founded on the principle that bringing together the most knowledgeable disability inclusion consultants would create a catalyst for true change in the workplace,” explained Kris Foss MA, SPHR, and Managing Director of Disability Solutions. “The breadth of experience in the private and public sectors by our management team is a huge contributor to our accomplishments.”
Said Foss, “We launched Disability Solutions after experiencing the positive impact of our national initiative with PepsiCo - Pepsi ACT (Achieving Change Together). I was hearing from a number of companies and their leaders about a growing need to effectively include jobseekers with disabilities in their overall talent strategies and to engage their current workforce. They cited uncertainty about how to get started and a desire to not reinvent the wheel as challenges. We knew we could bring a unique lens to their current approach in order to form new strategies, and that we had put together a team who could implement those strategies and support our corporate clients to successful outcomes. Since that time we have worked with several global companies and are continuing to grow and expand the types of industries we are working within. Synchrony Financial is an example of that leadership.”
Julie Sowash is one of the dedicated Disability Solutions team members. As a person with hidden disabilities, she understands the impact her organization has had on reducing the high unemployment rate among jobseekers with disabilities. In fact, Sowash worked with Synchrony Financial to actively hire people with disabilities for its Kettering, Ohio Business Operations Center. The result of Synchrony’s People with Disabilities Network pilot has been the hiring of over 60 employees into full- and part-time roles over the past 12 months. The hiring initiative has since expanded to Phoenix, AZ where they are already experiencing hiring results.
“My hope is that businesses across the country will follow Synchrony’s lead in seeing and engaging in the true value of our community,” said Sowash. “We are looking for opportunities to be successful in an organization that values talent of all types. Synchrony’s focus on culture, talent, and people will be that opportunity for many people with disabilities.”
Said Foss, “We truly work each day with the motivation that we are ‘changing minds and changing lives’ and working with employers across industries and sourcing talent for roles from the mailroom to the Board Room. The companies we are working for are seeing positive business results and are leading that change.”
Founded in 2012, Disability Solutions is the national non-profit consulting division of Ability Beyond headquartered in Bethel, Connecticut. Disability Solutions focuses on helping corporations tap new channels for qualified talent, manage culture change, respond to a changing regulatory environment, and strengthen their workforce through diversity. To learn more visit:http://www.disabilitytalent.org/ or for more information about the Career Center, please visit www.disabilitysolutionstalent.org