Full article can be found here: http://diversityinengineering.com/disabled-workers-good-for-business/
For Dana Marlowe of Accessibility Partners, hiring disabled workers as part of a diverse workforce is not just about ‘doing the right thing.’ Yet according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, or ODEP, twice as many disabled people are unemployed than the average population.
Many companies are reluctant to hire candidates with disabilities due to the fact that they are uncertain as to what ‘accommodations’ disabled workers will need to do the job – for example, expensive equipment or significant office space alterations. The reality is quite different, says Kathy Martinez, head of the ODEP. As proven in an ongoing study by the Job Accommodation Network, 58% of accommodations don’t cost the company any money, with any required changes costing an average of $500, and are typically minor changes, like a specialist software package or an amplified phone receiver. “People with disabilities usually know what they need to do the job, so just ask them,” Martinez notes.
The workforce is changing, with many employees now staying in the workforce later in life. Employers need to prepare for the possibility that a highly trained, older worker with decades of experience could develop a disability during their working life – for example, becoming visually impaired due to diabetes. Therefore an inclusive, disabled-friendly workplace will become increasingly important in the battle to retain the best talent.
Marlowe says that many disabled workers are highly educated, deepy talented, and very loyal, “People who overcome challenges on a daily basis can handle whatever workplace issues you throw at them.” In an economy where companies are facing serious talent shortages, workers with disabilities offer a “great value proposition. They not only bring expertise and experience to the table, they help organizations create a more inclusive workplace culture,” according to Martinez. Pointing to the business benefit of diversity, she adds that “Diversification breeds innovation.”
The final word is from Dana Marlowe: “Employing people with disabilities just makes good business sense.”
Further reading here: http://www.workforce.com/articles/20700-the-untapped-talent-pool-of-people-with-disabilities