ADA: General Guidelines
Newsletter volume 1 number 5
Four specific actions to prepare interviewers for the ADA are briefly summarized here. Informed interviewers will be responsive and make better hiring decisions.
1. Prepare job descriptions with "essential functions" and identify job-related requirements to perform those functions. Management Team Consultants, Inc. has developed for clients a list of three hundred questions that interviewers can ask about such requirements.
2. Appoint one person in the company to whom everyone else can refer specific questions about the ADA. This may be someone in the human resources or law department. This person will coordinate a corporate response to questions of "reasonable accommodation" for any specific candidate.
3. For each candidate's interview schedule, appoint one person who can initially screen the candidate against the job's essential functions. This person can determine if the prerequisites of the job can be met. These prerequisites include physical as well as education/experience/knowledge requirements of the job. Following the screening interview, other interviewers can assume the candidate to be "otherwise qualified" for the job, and are not required to discuss job prerequisites.
4. Implement training for interviewers about their obligations under the ADA. This Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against qualified candidates, but does not require hiring disabled applicants. Understanding the implications of the Act will reduce interviewer anxiety and increase effectiveness.