Hiring Americans with Disabilities Makes Good Business Sense
The reason companies should hire Americans with disabilities is, in a nutshell, that it makes good business sense. And if you are not doing that, you are missing out on a talented pool of workers who will make your company better.
As we celebrate National Disability Awareness Month, we can look to the past and see how far we have come in hiring Americans with disabilities, especially since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. The celebration must be a short one, because there is a lot of work to do, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
With more than 25 years of being a nonprofit organization helping Americans with disabilities find at-home jobs, NTI has been a leader in hiring and promoting the benefits of inclusion in the workplace. We’ve certainly seen the changes over the years and how much the companies and government organizations we work with have benefited from hiring Americans with disabilities.
If companies aren’t hiring Americans with disabilities, there isn’t a better time to start than today.
With an employee shortage in the United States, this is an opportunity to fill spaces in your organization with talented individuals who want to work and will work hard. In almost all cases, they are hungry for an opportunity that has been denied to them. With one in four Americans being disabled, there is a substantial group here that should not be ignored.
Hiring Americans with disabilities is just good for your business. According to a 2018 study by Accenture, done in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, companies that hired Americans with disabilities outperformed those that didn’t. Their net income was at least two times higher, revenues 28 percent higher, and profit margins 30 percent higher.
A Department of Labor study showed that companies hiring Americans with disabilities saw a 90 percent increase in employee retention.
By hiring Americans with disabilities, companies become more diverse, which benefits their corporate culture and provides more opportunities for innovation and creative thinking. This is especially true when it comes to how to make your products or businesses more accessible.
Studies show a nearly $25 billion boost to the GDP if just 1 percent of people with disabilities are hired. This is caused when federal and state governments offer financial incentives and tax breaks.
If businesses are using the cost of making accommodations as a reason for not hiring Americans with disabilities, they should reconsider. Studies show that 60 percent of accommodation is free, while the rest are around $500 per person. That is extremely low when you factor in hiring costs, and some accommodations, like easier access into buildings, will benefit all employees.
(As part of October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NTI is taking part in “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion” theme to ensure that Americans with disabilities are a major part of the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Every October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions people with disabilities have made to America’s workforce and the economy.)
(Alan Hubbard is the chief operating officer for NTI, a nonprofit organization that has been helping Americans with disabilities find at-home jobs. You can register for free at www.ntiathome.org.)