“Going out in public so often takes courage. How many of us find that we can’t dredge up the strength to do it day after day, week after week, year after year, a lifetime of rejection and revulsion? It is not only physical limitations that restrict us to our homes and those whom we know. It is the knowledge that each entry into the public world will be dominated by stares, by condescension, by pity, and by hostility.”

Jenny Morris, Writer & Researcher

Disability as a term is defined differently in all different domains. However, it is not an attribution of an individual.The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that albeit 7 out of 10 working-age people have a job, only 2 out of 10 people with disabilities of working age are employed which leaves behind a lot of qualified disabled people who are in search for a job.

When you hire a competent person in the company you are only to bring benefits to your business. Here I shall list some basic reasons which prove why hiring people with disability is beneficial to the employers, customers and the community as well.

  1. Of all employees, people with disability report a high work quality and have a higher rate of retention: Studies have shown that people with disabilities take fewer absence days and they are more likely to stay on the job longer than non-disabled workers. Recently, a study was conducted in Chicago’s Illinois Tollway Call Center (which employs people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled as well as the people without any disabilities. On average, the employees with a vision loss and other disabilities had a retention rate of 1.7 years, while the retention rate for employees without any disability was only 0.9 years.
    A study by the Institute of Corporate Productivity revealed that 3 out of 4 employers surveyed and ranked their disabled employees as good or very good on work quality, motivation engagement, integration with co-workers, dependability, and punctuality.

2. Employees with disabilities will increase diversity in the workplace: Employees whether having a disability or not equally benefit from a diverse work setting. Creating a diverse work environment will make a company more attractive to the prospective employees, customers, and business associates. By simply hiring people with disabilities one adds a potentially highly motivated individual workforce which promotes an inclusive culture and therefore a positive image of the company or the business is portrayed.

3. Your business is sure to get Tax benefits from the government: This is for businesses looking for ways to reduce their tax burden, hiring disabled workers can offer a number of important tax benefits. As of 2011, businesses can deduct the cost of making their facility more accessible to disabled workers, such as removing barriers or installing ramps, and small businesses may be eligible for a disabled access credit. They may also qualify for the work opportunity credit, which is available to companies that hire workers with special employment needs.

4. People with disability are as efficient and capable as anyone else
This is the most simple, but difficult reason for employers to understand about hiring workers with disabilities. According to statistics, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has constantly hovered at or above 70 percent, even 26 years after the passage of the ADA. Unfortunately, employers often refuse to hire individuals with disabilities, simply because they believe that they are not capable of doing the job, or because they are unaware about the many adaptive techniques and devices that are available. Like anyone else even they apply for jobs that they believe they are qualified for and capable of doing.

To summarize, we understand that a robust workforce includes people of all abilities. By integrating people with disabilities into your pool of employees, you’ll gain a competitive advantage, increase workplace diversity and productivity, improve your bottom line, have higher retention rates, and expand your market to new consumers.

So what are you waiting for?

Work towards ensuring that people with disabilities are included in your company’s overall recruitment efforts. Recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting people with disabilities is possible — and it benefits businesses of all sizes, across all industries

-Shreya S. Kujur