The B usiness & Disability Bulletin

disability is our business







Volume 7 Issue 1 July 2015  

In This Issue
Best Practice Tip: Centralized ADA Accommodation Fund
Disability Diversity: Not Your Inspiration
Tax Incentives
Celebrate the ADA
Join Our Mailing List
Best Practice Tip:
Create an Centralized ADA Accommodation Fund
Does your business or organization have a centralized accommodation fund to use when accommodating people with disabilities, or does the cost of accommodations come out of each department's budget?

blind man operating a machine Not having a centralized fund can be a disincentive for managers to hire workers who need accommodations. It is a disincentive for managers to actively recruit and hire workers with disabilities if they suspect that doing so will decrease the operating budget for their department or project.

A centralized fund allows for the accommodation of employees to be part of the cost of doing business as a whole. Increasing the diversity of the workforce is a goal many businesses and organizations have; a centralized fund is one tool that sends the message to hiring managers that the company is serious about recruiting employees with disabilities.

Do you know how the cost of employee accommodations are allocated at your organization? Now would be the time to find out. If you don't already have a centralized accommodation fund, bring it up as a topic for discussion at your next management meeting.


Disability Diversity:
We're Not Here For Your Inspiration
Are you looking for a great way to start a discussion about disability diversity? Share this Ted Talk by Stella Young with your staff! It's only 9 minutes long and can be a great starting point for a discussion.

Stella Young


Tax Incentives for Increasing Accessibility & Providing Accommodation
usa hat w/ money
Did you know that businesses accommodating people with disabilities may qualify for some of the following tax credits and deductions? Not all tax preparers are aware of these opportunities--be sure to talk to your tax professional about these important tax incentives.

Disabled Access Credit
The Disabled Access Credit provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities. An eligible small business is one that that earned $1 million or less or had no more than 30 full-time employees in the previous year; they may take the credit each and every year they incur access expenditures. Refer to Form 8826, Disabled Access Credit  for information about eligible expenditures.

Barrier Removal Tax Deduction
The Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Businesses may claim a deduction of up to $15,000 a year for qualified expenses for items that normally must be capitalized. Businesses claim the deduction by listing it as a separate expense on their income tax return. Also, businesses may use the Disabled Tax Credit and the architectural/transportation tax deduction together in the same tax year, if the expenses meet the requirements of both sections. To use both, the deduction is equal to the difference between the total expenditures and the amount of the credit claimed.

See the IRS website for more details.
Four Ways to Celebrate the ADA
ADA 25 logo
July 26, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Join us as we celebrate the spirit of the ADA!

July 22, 2015 | Creating Accessible Content
We have partnered with ONEplace to offer this free training for non-profits. Having a disability can affect how people access the materials you produce to convey your agency's message. Learn why it's important to offer alternative formats and how to develop content for print, websites and social media that is accessible to everyone. Register on ONEplace's website.

July 24, 2015 | Community Celebration
We will be celebrating with a free lunch and a program from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at our office in Kalamazoo. Learn more on our website.This event is free and open to the public--please join us.

August 6, 2015 | Grow Your Business:  The Buying Power of Seniors and People with Disabilities
Susan Berry of Disability Smart Solutions will be at the Radisson Plaza in Kalamazoo from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. talking about how a welcoming environment for seniors and people with disabilities can improve your bottom line and create loyal customers. This event is free however we ask that you register in advance.

September 17, 2015 | Statewide Celebration
Disability advocates and allies from across the State will be at the Capitol in Lansing to celebrate the ADA. More information can be found on Disability Network/Michigan's website. A road trip to Lansing would be a great way for your organization to commit to embracing the next 25 years of the ADA.

These events are fragrance-free. Please do not wear perfumes or colognes. Thank you.


Growlers night!
Growlers logo
Reward your employees with a GROWLERS Game--tickets make great employee thank you gifts.   Disability Network Southwest Michigan is selling tickets to the 7:00 p.m. July 16th game.

When you purchase the tickets through us for $15 each participant receives a general admission ticket to the game and a Growlers hat. Disability Network is able to earn $5 for every ticket purchased, so it is a way to support the important work that we do.  For more information, visit our website or contact   Kristen Potts.  


The Business & Disability Bulletin is a free electronic newsletter for business leaders and human resource professionals in Southwest Michigan who believe in the value of an inclusive workforce and in creating a welcoming customer environment.


. This newsletter is published bi-annually by Disability Network Southwest Michigan. Previous editions of this newsletter can be found on our website.