Disability as Diversity 101

Recruitment / Business Case

Our Ability provides recruitment and employment interview training, equipping you and your staff to create a positive, comfortable experience when interviewing applicants with a variety of disabilities.  Upon request, we can demonstrate Connect and discuss ways to use Connect in your organization with hiring managers, recruiters and senior management. Our Ability facilitates dialogue with the business community lay out the financial case to hire people with disabilities. On the macro level, there is a national pool of individuals with disabilities with financial buying power that exceeds other diversity categories. It is lost upon the general population how important the buying power in our community is to their bottom line. Whether it be business to business or business to consumer, there is impact in educating larger businesses on the importance of individuals with disability.

On a micro level, Upstate New York is a strong example of how important the community is of people with disabilities. In a typical small county, the largest diversity category are people with disabilities and the largest employer in smaller counties was traditionally a workshop type organization. If we can harness the capability of all and transition that into competitive external employment, we have solved some of our employment concerns in Upstate New York.

Together, we explore the economics of hiring people with disabilities. 

Benefits include:

  • Understanding your own fears to overcome bias.
  • Increasing communication skills around what you can and cannot say, ask or do from a legal standpoint.
  • Confidently knowing how to conduct a comfortable, professional interview with candidates with disabilities.
  • Successfully navigating disclosure and requests for accommodations.
  • Reducing barriers to employment.
  • Defining the positive financial impact.
  • Understanding resources in the community.
  • See the opportunities of tax incentives.



  • An action plan as part of EEO that can be followed to include disability as part of diversity hiring practices.
  • Better understanding on disability in the workplace.
  • Building a business case for your existing business to employ, recruit and sell to disabilities.
  • Building and supporting allies and members for your business resource group around disability.
  • Membership in Our Ability Inc., which allows you to search our database of candidates with disabilities across the nation.
  • Access to John Robinson to answer personalized questions for one year period regarding specific trainings.
  • Ability to record seminars in person or webinars for use for a two-year period, with additional licensing available for five years.

Competencies / SHRM

  • Global & Cultural Effectiveness
  • Leadership & Navigation
  • Effectiveness & Development
  • Diversity & Inclusion


John Robinson – In 2014, John Robinson was named one of ten national White House Champions of Change for Disability Employment and honored with the Excelsior College President’s Award for Advocacy in 2010. Since 2011, he’s served as managing partner, CEO and Founder of Our Ability, which provides inclusive workforce and employment consulting, mentoring, workshops, keynotes and seminars on disability and diversity. Our Ability’s clients have included Cargill, Inc., Microsoft, Bank of America, Aflac and Realty USA. John additionally founded Our Ability Connect, the only online platform where employers can directly connect with qualified candidates with disabilities by searching a digital profile service, posting employment opportunities and sponsoring virtual job fairs. As Executive Director of the New York Business Leadership Network, he builds coalitions among New York State businesses interested in both hiring and building supplier diversity of businesses owned by individuals with disabilities. John currently serves as an advocate for people with disabilities with the Disability Education Forum of New York and was the subject of “Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story,” a public television documentary and autobiography.

“I left corporate America after 20 years to give back to our community of individuals with disabilities and provide new opportunities for employment.”

Disability as Diversity 101: Recruitment / Business Case

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In Proud Partnership

Our Ability, Inc. is a certified of disability-owned business enterprises (DOBEs), with the United States Business Leadership Network

Our Ability, Inc. is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. These programs are valid for 1.5 PDCs each for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit www.shrmcertification.org.