Webinar: Employment History Gaps

audio version (opens in a new tab)


I am very gratified knowing that I continue to remain employed by same organization after 14 years. I recognize, however, that some people have gaps in their employment history. On April 28, 2022, the

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

conducted a virtual round-table about this subject. You can find the event archive on the

EEOC YouTube channel.

Here is a link to the

YouTube video: “Untapped Potential: Reimagining Equity for Workers with Gaps in Employment History”.

Since I am a person with disability and my blog is disability-focused, my summary primarily discusses disability-related observations from some of the presenters. I encourage my readers to access the presentation video to learn everything discussed. In this article, I will summarize what I learned and share my reflections about the webinar content.

Webinar Introduction by EEOC Chairperson

The EEOC Chairperson stated that untapped potential exists for people with work history gaps. This includes people with disabilities. Employment can lead to financial stability. Two presenters discussed advantages of hiring people with disabilities, as well as fear of doing so from some employers.

Employer Fears and Advantages of hiring People with Disabilities

A presenter stated that some employers are fearful of people with disabilities. For example, employers can presume accommodations cost too much. Or, the employer can feel uncomfortable hiring a person who has a disability. Another presenter said people with disabilities can bring loyalty if hired. Additionally, people with disabilities tend to be good problem-solvers. Another section of the event focused on encouraging employment practices.

Encouraging Employment Practices

One presenter recommended inclusivity. For example, it can be beneficial to remove discriminatory terminology in job descriptions and highlight the contributions of people with disabilities. It is also important to prepare for requests for accommodations. I will now reflect on what I learned.

Blake’s Reflections

I was surprised to learn during the webinar that some employers fear reasonable accommodation costs. As

this article from Job Accommodation Network about cost of workplace accommodations

points out, most accommodations cost less than $500. My employer has always had a positive company culture, and to my knowledge hiring people with disabilities has been important to the organization for as long as I have been part of it. Speaking from my perspective as an employed individual with disability, it is crucial to keep communication open. It is also important to ask relevant questions, when appropriate. It is my experience as an employee that positive communication can result in understanding. In summary, I will reiterate a statement made by one presenter during the EEOC round-table. People with disabilities tend to be loyal employees. I am an example of such. Bottom line: Focusing on positives without fear can lead to employment success.

Question for Readers

After reading my reflections and summary of the webinar, which points caught your attention and why? I will return with another article.

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