Don’t panic, but the candidate has a disability (Guest commentary)

Accomodating an employee with a disability can be easy and inexpensive
By Brian Kon
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2005

You’re waiting in your office. You’ve posted the position for a new receptionist. The candidates are about to arrive for interviews. The first person has arrived and is about to be escorted into your office. The door opens and a person who comes equipped with a smile, an outstretched hand and a power wheelchair greets you. What do you do?

The first thing you need to do is not to panic. Studies have shown that the general public actually has a fear of people with disabilities. Why? Because people do not know what to say or how to act in order to accommodate the person, their disability or the technology that may come with them.

There’s no need to feel uncomfortable. Shake hands and invite the person in. Since this candidate uses a motorized wheelchair, you may need to shift some furniture around to accommodate the person’s needs. Other than that, it is truly business as usual. The interview process should be no different for this candidate than any other who has applied for the job.