Persons with Disabilities (PWD) are chief among labor resources.

Many business leaders are aware that looming on the not-so-distant horizon is a shortage of qualified workers. Thinking outside of the box, an increasing number of employers are turning to non-traditional sources of labor. Chief among those labor sources is persons with disabilities (PWD), the fastest growing segment and most widely overlooked employable minority of our population. Companies such as McDonald's, Walgreens, PepsiCo., Northern Trust Corporation, Aon, UPS, Banana Republic, Rush University Medical Center and Deloitte recognize that employing PWD is good for their bottom line.

…overwhelmingly positive attitudes among 92% of American consumers toward socially responsible companies, and in particular toward those that hire individuals with disabilities… improve the company's brand image.

University of Massachusetts Boston's Center for Social Development & Education (2006)

Diversity: Skills and Spending Power

People who experience a disability:

  • Have proved to be dependable, dedicated, hardworking and productive.
  • Are efficient, target-based and may often enjoy routine-based tasks.
  • Can be technology innovators because they have had to learn to be creative in performing tasks and overcoming challenges.
  • Often will impart a "Culture of Humor" into the workforce.
  • Will assist in increasing community awareness that your company is a disability-friendly business.

Top 5 Reasons to Hire People with Disabilities

  1. People with disabilities have equal or higher job performance ratings, higher retention rates, and lower absenteeism.
  2. Employees with disabilities can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending.
  3. Diverse work groups can create better solutions to business challenges.
  4. Companies that hire and accommodate people with disabilities in their workplaces can receive tax benefits.
  5. Employing people with disabilities is good for the individual, the business, and society. This is a "win–win–win" strategy.

Accommodations

We have put together some resources to assist you in accomodating your employee's.

Need information about how to accomodate an employee with a disability. The following website is one of the best resources available. The Job Accomodation Network or JAN is a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities by:

  1. Providing individualized worksite accommodations solutions.
  2. Providing technical assistance regarding the ADA and other disability related legislation.
  3. Educating callers about self-employment options.

Here are some goodies that other folks shared with us and that we think you may find useful.

Seven Steps for Reasonable Accomodation

Tools and Information

In our work with employers we have developed a few tools that we have found useful both to them and to those advocating with them. We have found the following information helpful in both the hiring and job development process.

About the Proposed Refresh of the Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines for Information and Communication Technology

About the Proposed Refresh of the Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines for Information and Communication Technology

JAN (Job Accommodation Network), is USDOL sponsored, and the preeminent source for employee accommodations.

Ticket to Work: Resource Documents

Knowledge Translation for Employment Research

The Business Case

2016 Legislative Developments: An Employer’s Guide to New Laws Impacting the Workplace in 2017 and Beyond

What is the Disability Market?

Workplace Mentoring Primer