Updated: Sep 13
As a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, a common question employers and clients have is “how does having a disability affect employability?”
According to research, having a disability appears to increase an individual’s employability. Hiring people with disabilities can act as a competitive advantage for your business based on the following reasons:
More Inclusive Work Culture
Hiring individuals with disabilities will increase the depth and diversity of your company, which can only work to add value to your business.
Having a more diverse staff will act as a catalyst for expanding the diversity of your customer base, as a result of an enriched environment, increased representation, and added workplace accommodations.
In addition to reaching a larger population, research shows that companies who hire people with disabilities also experience increased customer loyalty and satisfaction – due to the positive impacts of an inclusive work culture.
Overall, you will join others in your community who act as role models for overcoming stigma and embracing diversity because you chose to educate yourself and enhance your workforce.
Higher Quality Work
According to a study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, 75% of employers ranked their workers with disabilities as good or very good when it came to work quality, dependency, motivation, and integrity.
Individuals with disabilities are often very dedicated and take great pride in their work, which results in a higher quality product.
Many employers have a limited understanding of disabilities; therefore, due to lack of knowledge, they do not consider hiring individuals with disabilities.
Seeking out quality workers who may have been overlooked by other employers can give you and your company an edge over your competition.
When compared to their coworkers, workers with disabilities are shown to use fewer sick days, take less time off, and arrive on time more often.
This increased reliability and punctuality will significantly boost the overall productivity of the company over time.
Additionally, employees with disabilities are known to have a greater work ethic and dedication to their position, leading to a higher level of focus on designated tasks and less wasted time.
Your team will benefit from hiring model employees who can boost productivity and positively influence company culture, whilst encouraging all team members to do the same.
When evaluating the profitability of employers who hire individuals with disabilities compared to those who do not, it has been shown that having people with disabilities on your team can increase your company’s revenue.
For one, hiring individuals with disabilities decreases turnover and increases retention, which ultimately saves your company a large sum.
Additionally, companies that hire people with disabilities are often eligible for tax credits and government-funded support programs; employers are assisted with cuts to business costs when offices are made more accessible.
Employers often worry about the costs of job-related accommodations if they were to hire an employee with a disability. However, according to a Job Accommodation Network (JAN) study, 46% of employers reported that the actual accommodations cost nothing.
Furthermore, employers who made accommodations reported they witnessed increased productivity and an overall improvement in workplace safety.
Your workforce can become enriched by hiring individuals with disabilities and in turn, this can also contribute to your company’s financial success.
Written by: MacKenzie Verhelst, BAPsych, CVRP
MacKenzie Verhelst is a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant for Creative Therapy Consultants. MacKenzie is a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVRP) and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from McGill University. She demonstrates expertise in vocational assessment, resume/cover letter development, interview preparation, active job search support, and job sustainment services. MacKenzie is passionate about helping others reach their utmost potential and advocates for finding joy in work. To learn more about Vocational Rehabilitation Services, please visit click here.
1. Benefits and Costs of Accommodation. (2004). Retrieved from https://askjan.org/topics/costs.cfm
2. Employing People with Intellectual and Developmental ... (2014). Retrieved from https://ohioemploymentfirst.org/up_doc/Employing_People_With_Intellectual_and_Developmental_Disabilities.pdf
3. Lindsay, S., Cagliostro, E., Albarico, M., Mortaji, N., & Karon, L. (2018). A systematic review of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 1-22.