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Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

According to CNN, only 41.1% of Americans with a disability are employed, whereas 79.1% of non-disabled Americans are employed. And to make things worse, the employed people with a disability are making a lot less money. The average annual earnings for a disabled worker is $23,532 when employees without a disability average $32,688.

    But as more awareness about employing people with disabilities comes about, more and more companies are becoming more likely to hire people with disabilities. There are tons of companies like AT&T and Starbucks who make sure that they hire people with all different abilities. See what they have to say:

“When we think about hiring for Starbucks, we think beyond labels. We challenge ourselves to look beyond traditional sources and typical profiles, to bring in people that share our values and our passion for service and community. There is no better example than our commitment to hiring people with disabilities. These talented professionals bring unique experiences that foster innovation and new ideas while contributing to a culture of warmth and true inclusion. We work across multiple business teams to collaborate and inspire [employees] to embrace accessibility as a global value of Starbucks, and we are continually inspired by the diversity and inclusion of our people” - Scott Pitasky, Executive Vice President and Chief Partner Resources Officer, Starbucks
“AT&T is a company where everyone’s differences are authentically embraced, valued and vital to our business inside and out. People with disabilities are no exception. I’ve seen this personally, because it’s part of my charge. Whether it is by ensuring an accessible environment so employees can win at work or offering the accessibility products and services to our customers, accessibility is our commitment to connect people to the world around them. In addition to our Corporate Accessibility Technology Office (CATO), our longstanding relationship with Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities helps us find and hire college graduates with disabilities. Finally, our Employee Resources Group IDEAL (Individuals with Disabilities Enabling Advocacy Link) is 4,300 members strong and plays a big role in ensuring we continue to stay ahead of the issues that this community faces” -Cynthia Marshall, SVP Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, AT&T

So, what are these companies realizing before others? What are the benefits of hiring people with disabilities?

People With Disabilities Are More Reliable

People with disabilities are reliable employees and have an overall higher job retention rate. There have been many studies that have shown that people with disabilities take less absent days, less likely to get into work related accidents, and they are more likely to stay on the job longer than non-disabled employees.

People With Disabilities Are More Loyal

People with disabilities are more loyal to your company. People with disabilities want to work, and when they get the opportunity, they stick with the company that gave them a chance. According to a 2007 study from DePaul University, it was found that regardless of sector, participants with and without disabilities had nearly identical job performance ratings.

Businesses May Receive Tax Credits

Businesses that hire people with disabilities may receive tax credits or other incentives. Eligible businesses can receive certain tax credits to aid them in hiring and accommodating employees with disabilities. These credits are to help with purchasing adaptive equipment for the workers and covering costs of any modifications needed to make the building accessible.

Workers With Disabilities Will Increase Diversity

Workers with disabilities will increase diversity in the workplace. Both workers with and without disabilities will benefits from a diverse work setting. By working with employees with disabilities, others who are not disabled will become more aware about how to make the workplace and other settings more inclusive and accessible for all employees. Diversity is good for business. When there is a diverse work setting, people are more able to come up with creative solutions for problems because they have a better understanding of their customer base.

People With Disabilities Are As Capable As Anyone Else

This is the most simple reason, but it is still difficult for employers to grasp when hiring workers with disabilities. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities has constantly hovered at or above 70%, even 26 years after the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) passed. Employers often refuse to hire individuals with disabilities simply because they believe that they are not capable of doing the job. What they fail to realize is that there are so many adaptive techniques and technologies out there that allow them to work!

It's ability, not disability, that counts.

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