Small businesses in the U.S. represent the majority of employers and employ more than half the private workforce. It follows that a majority of all first jobs are provided by small businesses.
Yet unemployment in the deaf community is disproportionally high. How can the two be encouraged to meet? From the employer’s perspective, a diverse workforce could become a portal to a wider customer base. Guidance exists to approach the issue from all sides.
The Federal tax code provides incentives in the form of tax credits for qualified small businesses making access improvements to the deaf. Federal credits can be used to cover a portion of the expenses related to making aurally-delivered materials/aids accessible. Some states supplement this deduction with their own disabled tax credits. Combined, the credits are worth considering as a pathway to qualified employees and increased business opportunities.
For many employers, it could be as simple as becoming aware of the professional services available to meet the needs of the hearing-impaired.