Event aims to dispel myths about hiring people with disabilities


An event set for Oct. 27 in Carmel aims to connect businesses feeling the effects of the worker shortage with a segment of the population sometimes overlooked and ready for employment.

The “Who’s Your Next Great Hire?” workshop will provide information for business owners about hiring people with disabilities to fill open positions. The session is set for 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at BraunAbility, 645 W. Carmel Dr.


The workshop is being organized by the City of Carmel’s Advisory Council on Disability, BraunAbility, OneZone Chamber of Commerce and Abound Community Services. It will include remarks from Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, stories from local employers about why they wish they’d started hiring people with disabilities sooner, information about resources to fund accommodations and networking opportunities with recruitment agencies.

“Our goal is to educate employers about hiring people with disabilities. There are some tax credits available, and there is help with physical accommodations if those need to be made in the workplace. We want to set up employers for success,” said Laura Campbell, a Carmel city councilor and founder of Carmel’s Advisory Council on Disability.

CIC DOUGH 1011 Disability Hiring event Critchlow

Kara Critchlow, executive director of employment services for nonprofit Abound Community Services, said she often encounters several misconceptions from employers about hiring people with disabilities, such as that they are unreliable performers or that they may be absent from work more often than other employees. She hopes the event will help dispel these myths and others and connect businesses with great employees.

“There are so many places hiring right now,” she said. “They need good people, and we have good people.”

Kellie Freeman, Carmel Clay Schools transition coordinator, facilitates two programs that focus on vocational training for people with disabilities. She is part of the Advisory Council on Disability and has been helping plan the workshop.

CIC DOUGH 1011 Disability Hiring Event Freeman

Through her work at CCS, she’s seen the benefits of helping people with disabilities find a good job – both for the worker and employer.

“There are so many amazing businesses in Carmel that have worked with our program.  These businesses work with our job coaches and give individuals with disabilities an opportunity that is life changing,” Freeman said. “The pride and maturity we see in our workers/students when they have a job and get a paycheck is undeniable. It shows the importance of having a purpose each day.”

Those interested in attending the workshop, which is being held during Disability Employment Awareness Month, should RSVP by Oct. 14 at surveymonkey.com/r/CYXXBZQ or by emailing [email protected].