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New, Free HR Training Program Closes Disability Inclusion Gap in the Workplace

Employing Abilities @Work program ensures everyone will thrive, regardless of difference or disability

Alexandria, Va., April 21, 2020 — The SHRM Foundation and Workplace Initiative by Understood today announced the availability of a new, free training program focused on helping businesses drive disability inclusion in the workplace.

Only 13 percent of workplaces in the U.S. have disability-specific inclusion initiatives according to the 2019 Employing Abilities @Work Research Report. This has led to great misunderstandings about the employability of people living with disabilities and an unemployment rate twice that of the national average.

The Employing Abilities @Work Certificate is designed for human resources professionals and hiring managers. With eLearning content provided by the Workplace Initiative by Understood, the training program dispels myths and highlights opportunities to hire, retain, develop, and advance employees with disabilities in the workplace.

Training program participants will advance through 12 micro-learning modules that define concrete steps to foster inclusion at work and outlines the business benefits of investing in disability inclusion programs. Courses focus on how to welcome and support employees with disabilities in the workplace. Specific courses include: 

  • Best Practices in Recruitment and Hiring

  • Building a Culture That Supports Disclosure and Self-Identification

  • Understanding the American with Disabilities Act

  • Breaking Down Stereotypes; Building a Culture of Inclusion

“Hiring people with a disability is not about charity,” said SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP. “It’s about putting bias aside and hiring the right person for the right role. Even as organizations rethink their future talent strategies in today’s landscape, it is important they also consider individuals who have disabilities.”   

“Organizations that embrace and invest in people with disabilities, whether invisible or visible, strengthen their business, their culture, and create a more productive workplace that embraces differences,” said Fred Poses, chief executive officer of the Workplace Initiative by Understood. “We’re proud to partner with the SHRM Foundation and to develop the content that will strengthen the capabilities of HR professionals, organizations and managers, and will demonstrate the power of disability inclusion.”

The Employing Abilities @Work Certificate program was released as part of the Employing Abilities @Work initiative. By completing the 10 hours of learning associated with this program, participants will earn 10 professional development credits toward the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP recertification and will receive a printed certificate and digital badge.

To learn more and to start your inclusion journey today, please visit

MEDIA: For more information, contact Sinu Patel at and 540.355.8822; or Danielle Ward at and 973.865.3595.

About the SHRM Foundation

The SHRM Foundation’s mission is to mobilize the power of HR and activate the generosity of donors to lead positive social change impacting all things work. The Foundation is committed to elevating and empowering HR as a social force through its innovative solutions to workplace inclusion challenges, programming designed to inspire and empower the next generation of HR leaders, and awarding scholarships and professional development grants to educate and develop students and HR professionals. The SHRM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) philanthropic affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. Learn more at or on Twitter @SHRMFoundation.

About the Workplace Initiative by Understood

The Workplace Initiative by Understood is dedicated to helping companies hire, advance and retain people with disabilities. Our goal is to help create workplaces that embrace difference, support inclusion, and enable their employees to thrive. Learn more at and connect with us on LinkedIn.

For more information on Understood and its mission, please visit