People with disabilities are the largest untapped minority group in the workplace. 84% of the 56 million people with disabilities in the United States find themselves unemployed. Many believe this is because people with disabilities are unable to work. Yet, this damaging stigma is a myth. Those with disabilities are able to work with as much right to a job as any human.
In 2015, the employment rate gap between people with and without disabilities was over 40%. Even though discrimination is illegal in the workplace, many employers pass over people with disabilities. They believe the cost and effort of employing a worker with a disability are too high. This unfounded belief is simply wrong. Case studies and research show many benefits to hiring those with disabilities.
1. Increase in Productivity
People commonly believe those with disabilities are unable to perform their duties and productivity will decrease. A study at Deloitte refutes this. It showed inclusive teams performed better than their peer groups by 80%. Employers also found that their employees with disabilities were hardworking. Individual productivity and overall productivity increases in companies who provide accommodations for their employees.
2. Create a Positive Image Inside and Out
Hiring people with disabilities improves your diversity. Diversity makes your company look better in the consumer’s eye. Disabilities are a largely untapped source, both in employment and marketing. Hiring from the minority group broadens your consumer base and improves customer interactions. Diversity also improves the employee morale inside your company. Studies show employees think better of the business they work for if there is greater diversity. Creating accommodations also shows that you care which improves employee- employer relations.
3. Receive Quality Work
A myth suggests people with disabilities will not be able to perform their job. They will get hurt more often and will miss more days. However, the statistics support the exact opposite. 9 out of 10 people with disabilities rated average or better in their work performance. Almost 100% of people with disabilities rate average or better when it involved work safety. 86% of them rated average or better on work attendance. Many employers noted their employees with disabilities are more dependable, loyal, and productive than their peers.
4. Reduce Tax Burden
Another great reason to hire them is the tax incentives the government provides. The three main tax cuts are Disabled Access Credit, Barrier Removal Deduction, and Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Disabled Access Credit focuses on small businesses. It provides credit for any accommodations that a business gives its employees. Barrier Removal Deduction gives a tax cut up to $15,000 a year. You only have to remove barriers that prohibit access to people with disabilities in or around your building. Finally, WOTC is a monetary incentive to hire those with disability and can range from $1,200 to $9,600.
5. Raise Your Revenue
Many believe hiring someone with a disability will lower your revenue. Cost of access, health care, and other expenses will outweigh the benefits. But, hiring those with disabilities increases your profits. These benefits come from marketing, staff retention, and worker’s compensation.
Hiring a person with a disability widens your market and improves public image. This leads to more sales from new customers and a new demographic. Loyalty among those with disabilities is higher in the workplace. Staff retention increases 72% compared to their abled colleagues. This saves you money by reducing hiring and training costs. Worker’s compensation also tends to be lower with workers who have disabilities.
Hiring those with disabilities is increasingly beneficial. Many employers found their employees needed no accommodation at all or one that didn’t cost a dime. If employers did need to invest, they found the company earned the money back several times over. People with disabilities are creative, hardworking, and a vastly untapped work source. Improve your business today by creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. You’ll be impressed by the difference.