How to Mentor Someone with a Disability & Include Veterans: Fear of Being Different?

Contributed by Hannah Hayes, Inclusion & Diversity Committee
Hiring decisions regarding someone with a visible or invisible disability can be unnerving. On November 9th, the Inclusion & Diversity Committee hosted the Disability & Veteran Inclusion Summit recognizing our veterans and the disabled community with speakers that drove home the importance of not overlooking those from different backgrounds than our own. Thanks to Brett Sheats and Derek Shields, we have a better understanding now of how to mentor someone with a disability strategically. They call us to be the catalyst of change and keep in mind the Three Principles of Inclusion: "Have fun, make a difference, and don't work for jerks!" For further information on working with someone with a disability, check out AskEarn and Disability:IN.

Similarly, Alyssa "Lysa" Harper, Marine Corp veteran, sparked conversation about our conversation styles with someone active military and veterans. Especially in the hiring process, consider veterans' experience in leadership. Even if they use different terminology for concepts, they may have a great deal of working knowledge that you won't be able to access without opening the door to further explanation of what they actually did in their work for our country. Provide support and a welcoming environment by initially actively listening to our service members. Read more from SHRM: Tips on Hiring Veterans.