Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Employers Build Competitive Advantage by Engaging People with Disabilities

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Companies that employ people with disabilities reap numerous benefits, according to a new publication from The Conference Board, Leveling the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging and Advancing People with Disabilities. The report found that managers who have supervised an employee with a disability are overwhelmingly likely to recommend hiring works with disabilities, and that over ninety percent of consumers are more favorable toward companies that hire people with disabilities. The purpose of the report was to look at the ways employers are building competitive advantage through workplace practices that engage people with disabilities, including recent veterans and older workers.

Susane Bruyere, director of Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute, confirmed that "employers report a number of indirect benefits that can result from hiring employees with disabilities, such as increased overall morale, productivity, safety, interactions with costumers, and attendance."  

Key findings of the report include: 

  • Providing federally required accommodations for disabled employees is not expensive, and in many cases employers had no direct costs. 
  • 87% of consumers agree or strongly agree that they prefer to give their business to companies that employ people with disabilities. 
  • People with disabilites and their families represent a population of 54.7 million and earn an estimated $269 billion, representing a significant market in the United States.

To read more about the report click here.
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