It’s National Disability Employment Awareness month in America, a time when we recognize disabled and chronically ill workers and acknowledge their contributions to the economy. The themes of this month are about increasing access and opportunity. It’s one thing to say that you’re a company that is inclusive and wants to hire people who are differently-abled. It’s another thing to actually put that recruiting spend into hiring.
Hannah Olson teaches this to companies on a daily basis. She is the co-founder and CEO of an organization called Chronically Capable. Hannah had her dream job right out of college but later contracted Lyme Disease. Her treatments for her chronic illness got in the way of her job. Frustrated, she thought there had to be a better way.
So, she created that better way: Chronically Capable. It’s a technology platform, an ATS, and really a community that tries to match individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses with employers who are thoughtful, progressive, and aim to support that community.
Hannah claims that hiring the disabled and chronically ill is good not only for those employees but for businesses as well. When I asked her why, she said, “if you hire people with disabilities and illnesses, that’s good for people and that’s good for companies. The key to helping everyone work better is to have more inclusive, accessible, flexible workplaces and policies. So companies that are fostering stronger disability inclusion programs, they’re having better access to talent, they’re able to find the right person for the right job, and have better employee retention.”
I’m talking about these topics—and more on what a 24-year-old entrepreneur is doing to change the nature of global corporations— in my weekly newsletter. I’m also sharing a video to help you think about your week ahead. You can sign up here.