Dave’s Top Ten today counts down the top ten reasons a company should consider hiring people who might have a disability. According to the latest census, 10% of people age 18-64 have a disability. This group of people represents the largest “open” minority in the United States. What I mean by “open” is the fact that any person at any time can unintentionally become disabled and join the group sometime in their life. Needless to say, 10% represents a rather large number of people who are “work ready.”
Before counting down, let’s talk about certain myths some employers may have about employees with a disability.
Employers may feel that accommodations for these individuals may be too expensive. However, records show the typical cost of accommodations is less than $600 for these employees, and almost half of these workers cost $0.
Another misconception is that workers’ compensation insurance costs will increase. The fact is workers’ compensation insurance is based on actual losses, the type of business, and safety protocol rather than on what an individual employee brings to the table.
Finally, employers may be concerned that hiring individuals with a disability will increase health care costs. Since those premiums are based on the risk of a group rather than individuals, health care costs would most likely not be affected.4
Now, let’s go to the countdown. . . the top ten reasons why you should consider hiring a person with a disability:
10. Individuals with a disability represent a group of people that bring fresh and innovative perspectives to the workplace as a result of having to live in an otherwise inaccessible world.
9. Employees with a disability have higher retention rates than employees without a disability, which helps to reduce the cost of turnover.1
8. 90% of consumers actually prefer companies that hire individuals with a disability.2
7. Employees with a disability have reduced rates of absenteeism.3
6. Employees with a disability, in terms of job performance, rate an average of 90% or better.4
5. On average, employees with a disability are more concerned with safety issues than non–disabled workers.
4. Companies can tap into the $3 trillion dollar market of customers with disabilities who, along with their family and friends, will purchase products from companies that demonstrate an understanding of the disabled community and its special needs.5
3. A company that hires an individual with a disability has the opportunity of receiving an annual tax credit up to $2,400 (up to $5,000 for small businesses).6
2. Employees who have a disability represent a broad resource of talented individuals that cross all demographic lines.
Drum roll please. . .
And the #1 reason to consider hiring an individual with a disability IS:
Individuals who have a disability are actually no different than those without a disability – they go to school, work, get married, have children, pay taxes, vote, go on dates, get angry, go to church, laugh, cry, plan, and dream like everyone else.
As we can see from Dave’s Top Ten list, hiring an individual with a disability will most likely produce a favorable outcome for an employer. For more information on hiring employees who have a disability, please visit the following websites:
Ask Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Ask Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN)
U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Disability Employment Policy
1United Nations, Factsheet On Persons With Disabilities
2Mary Catt, Report Finds It Pays To Hire Disabled Workers
3Charlotte Gerber, 5 Reasons To Hire The Disabled
4AskEarn, Employing People With Disabilities: FAQ
5Hireds.com, Five Reasons For Small Businesses To Hire Disabled Workers
6Disability Tax Credits For Employers
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.