The recruiting and hiring of employees with disabilities can help companies to increase their pool of talent and create new opportunities for their businesses, says a new report by the Conference Board.
Leveling the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging, and Advancing People with Disabilities explains the steps companies can take to encourage the hiring and employment of employees with disabilities. The Executive Summary focuses on ways to overcome workplace discrimination and addresses myths and misconceptions that prevent employers from hiring people with disabilities.
“A strong workforce is an inclusive workforce and helps employers tactically address this issue,” said Mary Wright, program director for the research working group and a contributing author to the report. “Efforts to effectively employ people with disabilities can be considered a metaphor for maximizing the potential of all employees and the performance of an entire organization.”
“Employers also report a number of indirect benefits that can result from hiring employees with disabilities, such as increased overall morale, productivity, safety, interactions with customers, and attendance,” said Susanne Bruyère, director of Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute and contributing expert to the report.
- More than one out of ten Americans has one or more disabilities - 54.7 million
- The number of people with disabilities is expected to increase
- The cost of federally required accommodations for people with disabiilties in the workplace is inexpensive or, in many cases, has no direct costs
- 87 percent of consumers said that they prefer to deal with companies who employ people with disabilities
- 77 percent of companies do not take advantage of tax breaks and other benefits available to those who hire people with disabilities
- Managers who have supervised an employee with a disability are much more likely to recommend hiring workers with disabilities
- Employers need to develop systems to advance the hiring, employment and promotion of employees with disabilities, including veterans
The report was authored by Peter Linkow and prepared by The Conference Board Research Working Group for Improving Employee Outcomes for People with Disabilities. The project is funded in part by the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University ILR School under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and funding from member companies of The Conference Board.