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Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI), a private, nonprofit, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2020. ERI’s mission has remained constant: advancing employment opportunities to enhance the well-being of people with disabilities. This includes providing direct services, as well as training and technical assistance to promote effective practices. We offer services throughout Wisconsin and many of our training efforts are offered in all 50 states. Partnering with Disability: IN Wisconsin provides a great opportunity to connect with businesses and fellow providers to promote the shared values of diversity and inclusion.

ERI is committed to a diverse, inclusive and equitable work environment. We know that our efforts not only benefit our team and make ERI a great place to work, but that these principles carry forward into all that we do.  This makes these practices essential to achieving our mission and providing the best possible services.

We have undertaken a process to revise our job descriptions and hiring practices to ensure that we are not excluding potential employees by demanding education or advanced degrees that are not essential to doing our work. We know that we can teach the technical skills needed to do the work. One of the most important qualifications is that people have the attitude that everyone can work, and that employment can be an important part of a person’s well-being.  This has improved our efforts to hire team members that reflect the communities that we serve.

ERI also works within the community to increase people’s awareness about the talents and skills that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. We do this through articles and individual stories showing people in successful, rewarding jobs and advancing in their career goals.  We also connect with businesses to understand their staffing and recruitment needs. Often, our team is able identify a position that will increase the business’ efficiency, increase other employees’ satisfaction with their roles, and identify a great opportunity for a job seeker.

Another area that ERI has focused on is a universal design for our learning systems and website development. Universal design strives to be useable for everyone without the need for adaptive equipment, or specialized programs. This includes things such as plain language writing, user-centered design and navigation, compatibility testing for accessibility supports and review and testing by users with differing needs.  Once developed, we continue to seek feedback, monitor, adjust, and improve our design and accessibility as part of our commitment to making our website and materials useable by everyone.

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