About Diversity Partners

How Does it Work?

Job Developers, Employment Specialists, Workforce Development staff and others in both the public and private sector who connect people with disabilities to jobs are the "bridge" between labor supply and demand. In order to serve as an effective bridge, these professionals must form partnerships with employers. A partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance mutual interests. Ideally, the approach to employers shouldn’t just be about making a single placement, it should also be about understanding and meeting the needs of the employer in order to establish long-term partnership.

Diversity partners is a combination of both facilitated training and consultation, and online learning modules, that can help professionals find better employment opportunities for people with disabilities through improved business relationships.

Who Should Use the Diversity Partners Modules?

The Diversity Partners is intervention can be used by community-based rehabilitation agencies, state and regional workforce development systems, state vocational rehabilitation programs, transition personnel in school districts, and contingent labor (i.e. staffing) firms. The online toolboxes can also be implemented as an intervention aimed at a consortia of cross-systems partners who collaborate to improve outcomes for jobseekers with disabilities.

The goal of the Diversity Partners project is to "repair the bridge" between labor supply and demand by:

  • Learning about the context, skills and behaviors that support or hinder relationships with business.
  • Supporting integration of promising practices into the everyday practices of employment service professionals serving job seekers with disabilities.
  • Advancing the understanding of how disability can impact work and strategies that might mitigate that impact.
  • Engaging agencies and personnel in capacity building and organizational change to create and sustain mutually beneficial employer partnerships.

Diversity Partners uses a combination of in-person training, online toolboxes, and on-demand technical assistance to users.

Leadership materials and technical assistance are aimed at creating and sustaining the organizational change required to improve practices in the context of business relationships; as well as information and knowledge regarding capacity building and cross-sector partnerships.

Modules for Direct Service Personnel are designed to provide the skills, confidence and tools necessary to improve business acumen, evaluate and leverage labor market demands, and effectively serve jobseekers with disabilities to find real jobs for real pay.

Diversity Partners was developed through a process of multi-stakeholder input, qualitative inquiry, and a piloting phase to refine the content and its delivery. It can be implemented within a single agency, or among a consortium of collaborators at no cost.

For more information about the project, contact us at info@buildingdiversitypartners.org, or call 1-888-296-3202. 


The contents of this project were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this presentation do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.