Delaware Department of Labor
The mission of the department's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is to retrain people with disabilities, interest potential employers in their value as productive employees, and place them in jobs.
Our challenge was to build awareness among Delaware employers that DVR is a resource for finding capable employees. The two primary audiences were state government and the private sector. We conducted focus groups with each to identify concerns and prejudices.
Based on focus group results, we designed and wrote informative, promotional materials to answer potential employer concerns.
There was a real story to be told. The labor market in Delaware is tight, and many people with disabilities, who have exceptionally strong skills, often go un-hired.
We developed information-filled, employer-oriented seminars that DVR presented under the sponsorship of the Chamber of Commerce. Each attendee was given a CD of the presentation, as well as illustrative tools for them to use within their own organizations.
Satisfied employer and employee program participants were interviewed and photographed for these materials. This helped the audience overcome negative perceptions and stereotypes.
Additional information and resources were presented to help employers learn that compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is typically not a difficult task. References were provided from satisfied DVR employers.
DVR now has tools it can use for a considerable number of years to help people with disabilities find successful careers.