People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often represent a talented, untapped labor market that employers should consider. Hiring people with IDD doesn’t mean that employers have jettisoned their business interests. On the contrary, hiring people with IDD is good for the bottom line.
Studies have shown that people with disabilities:
- are more aware and conscientious of safety in the workplace than their counterparts without disabilities.
- take less absent days.
- are highly motivated, leading to increased productivity.
- are more likely to stay on the job longer than workers without disabilities.
- are consistently ranked as good or very good on work quality, motivation, engagement, integration with co-workers, dependability and attendance.
- help promote an inclusive culture that appeals to the talent pool organizations want to attract.
From a public relations standpoint, hiring workers with disabilities can create a more positive image for your business. Research shows that consumers prefer doing business with companies that employ people with disabilities, so there’s brand value. Establishing a reputation as a company that offers a more diverse workforce may make you more attractive to prospective employees, customers and business associates. Other companies in the Sacramento area may be inspired to follow your lead, eventually creating a more diverse business climate.
As stated by Shawna Berger, director of communications at the US Business Leadership Network:
“Businesses that embrace disability inclusion have found there is a positive correlation between their profitability, employee morale and engagement. These businesses report lower turnover, better safety records, innovation and higher productivity among their employees with disabilities. For customer-facing companies, there is the side benefit of customer loyalty from America’s largest minority group, numbering 56.7 million Americans.”
Hiring workers with IDD can also offer a number of important financial, legal, and productivity advantages for a business while helping to avoid potentially harmful lawsuits.
Businesses can deduct the cost of making their facility more accessible to disabled workers, such as removing barriers or installing ramps, and small businesses may be eligible for a disabled access credit. They may also qualify for the work opportunity credit, which is available to companies that hire workers with special employment needs.
Employees with disabilities have higher retention rates, so for many businesses, there can be a real cost savings through reduced turnover. Research has also found organizations employing people with disabilities have higher morale and employee engagement, which we know drives profitability. Finally, people with disabilities often have well-honed problem-solving skills and a degree of adaptability that are especially valuable in today’s fast changing business environment.