The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) recently expanded its focus to provide services to businesses in Texas, in addition to helping people with disabilities obtain jobs. This new approach will increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities by providing free services that businesses can use to help lower recruiting and training costs, take advantage of tax incentives and benefits, and reduce turnover.
“DARS provides pre-screened, qualified applicants, which saves employers time and money in recruitment costs,” said Jim Hanophy, DARS assistant commissioner for rehabilitation services. DARS continues to support employers and employees for a limited time after a person is placed in a job or training program. The agency also provides job retention services for employees who have developed a disability in the course of their employment.
“Businesses are actively reaching out to DARS for assistance to hire qualified employees with disabilities,” Hanophy stated. “There are a number of reasons for this, including interest in diversity, the economic climate, and a shortage of qualified workers. Some of them have seen the success of other companies that have hired people with disabilities and want to achieve the same success.”
Services for businesses also include disability awareness training and guidance on assistive technology, worksite accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, diversity training for current employees, and information on tax incentives or tax credits that may be available to businesses that employ people with disabilities.