New AMACOM book helps employers locate stellar employees from among the millions with disabilities

According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26 million of the nation’s 200 million working-age people have one or more disability. Of that number, only a fraction—just over 20 percent—are currently in the labor force, including many who are self-employed or under-employed.

These eye-opening statistics reflect the magnitude of employment challenges for those with disabilities, as well as the vast potential for tapping a significantly under-utilized talent pool. From Lighthouse International, a leading non-profit dedicated to fighting vision loss and empowering people who are visually-impaired, and compiled and edited by cerebral palsy sufferer Jim Hasse, PERFECTLY ABLE: How to Attract and Hire Talented People with Disabilities (AMACOM; September 30, 2010; $27.95 Hardcover). PERFECTLY ABLE shows employers how to develop their workforce, including workers with disabilities, by completely retooling their recruitment and hiring practices and rethinking their strategies for building a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Packed with real-world examples of innovative HR practices at major corporations, PERFECTLY ABLE distills a wealth of insights from Lighthouse International’s cross disability online career network to provide the practical information employers need: interview questions for pinpointing people with the right qualities and skills, tips for translating volunteer or entrepreneurial experience into corporate experience, and recruitment strategies for locating top job candidates from among the disability community.

PERFECTLY ABLE also goes behind the scenes to provide fresh perspectives, relating inspiring stories of how people with disabilities have handled real-life workplace challenges, uncovering limiting attitudes and misperceptions that are often held about those with disabilities, and exploding the myth that ADA’s accommodation guidelines make it too expensive to employ workers with disabilities.

“There’s a too-common assumption that being disabled means being unable. That robs an employer of the opportunity to consider people with disabilities as intelligent, capable, and often innovative people who just happen to have some faculty in disrepair,” says Katy Jo Meyer, a technical recruiter at Microsoft Corporation. In fact, in overcoming challenges, many people have acquired the qualities that employers are desperate to find—they are resilient, adaptable workers; creative problem-solvers; and impressive bridge-builders.

PERFECTLY ABLE helps HR professionals, hiring managers, and small business owners reevaluate their diversity programs to make sure they’re not just filling quotas but creating inclusive organizations. And it supplies the knowledge and tools for tapping into this often hidden labor pool—to both enhance their diversity efforts and land valuable employees.


Lighthouse International, founded in 1905, is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment, and empowerment. The organization’s headquarters is in New York City.

Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, is owner of Hasse Communication Counseling, which specializes in developing, marketing, and facilitating online communities that focus on disability issues. He served as senior content developer for eSight Career Network, where he wrote and edited more than a thousand articles about career management from a disability perspective, and, prior to that, was head of corporate communications for Foremost Farms USA. He is an Accredited Business Communicator and Global Career Development Facilitator and the author of Break Out: Finding Freedom When You Don't Quite Fit the Mold. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Title: Perfectly Able - How to Attract and Hire Talented People with Disabilities
Authors: Lighthouse International; Compiled and Edited by Jim Hasse
ISBN: 978-0-8144-1564-1
Price: $27.95 Hardcover
Pub. Date: September 30, 2010
Pages: 272

To purchase Perfectly Able, visit the Amacom Books website.



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