What Small Companies Need to Know

Information from the Governor's Commission on Employment of People with Disabilities

Small business employers agree that employing people with disabilities is good business. Citizens with disabilities in Massachusetts are working in positions ranging from executives in Fortune 500 companies to professionals in health care as well as entry level positions in retail and hospitality. The following are common questions and answers to help you with hiring and employing people with disabilities.

Q. Are there tax incentives for hiring people with disabilities, and how can I find out more?
A. Tax incentives are available to eligible small businesses to hire individuals with disabilities and removing architectural barriers. Call the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program at 617-626-5353 to learn how to qualify for and receive tax credits--or visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's web site, where you will find basic information for small employers about EEOC-enforced laws and processes.

Q. If I need to make workplace accommodations, where can I get information?
A. Job accommodations are usually not expensive. The actual costs for 68% of workers with disabilities is $0-$500. For more about free job accommodations specific to your worker and workplace needs, call the Job Accommodations Network (JAN) at: (800) 526-7234 or visit the Job Accommodations Network web site.

Q. I'm afraid my costs will go up if I hire a person with a disability. Where can I get the facts?
A. In general, employer costs do not go up when hiring an individual with a disability. Job accommodations can reduce workers' compensation and other insurance costs. For information, call the Job Accommodations Network at: (800) 526-7234 or visit the Job Accommodations Network web site.

Q. Is there a general number to call for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) information?
A. Yes, you can get free ADA Business Technical Assistance, call 1-800-949-4232, or visit the New England Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center web site.

Q. Where can I go to get help with hiring, training and supervising people with disabilities?
A. You can get assistance hiring, training and supervising employees with disabilities by calling the following numbers:

Mass Rehabilitation Commission
(617) 204-3600
TTY: 1-800-245-6543
Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
(617) 695-7500
TTY: (617) 695-7600
Department of Mental Health
(617) 727-5500 x.408
TTY: (617) 727-9842
Department of Mental Retardation
(617) 624-7764
Commission for the Blind
(617) 727-5550
TTY: 1-800-392-6450
Institute for Community Inclusion
(617) 287-4300

The Resource Partnership
(508) 647-1722

If you would like more information, a packet will be sent to you. Call the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Employment of People With Disabilities at (617) 626-5692.

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council Grant#96-3(3)(A)
A Collaboration between the Governor's Commission on Employment of People with Disabilities and Institute for Community Inclusion at Children's Hospital.