Companies that hire people with disabilities outperform those that don’t, according to an Accenture report titled “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage.” The report illustrates how the disabled population represents a vast, untapped workforce capable of having a profound effect on company performance and the national GDP.
Key findings from the report include:
- Companies that employ people with disabilities boast revenues 28 percent greater than those that don’t, with 30 percent greater profit margins
- The disabled population represents a talent pool of more than 10.7 million people
- Employing just one percent of disabled people could add a $25 billion boost to the GDP
Microsoft, Bank of America and CVS Health were among the companies studied, and each had a formal program to attract, train and employ people with disabilities. The report cites four key actions to hiring, retaining and advancing diverse talent:
- Implement practices that encourage and progress disabled individuals
- Provide accessible tools, assistive technology and/or formal accommodations for people with disabilities
- Create awareness with recruitment and foster an inclusive culture
- Offer training and coaching programs to help disabled employees succeed
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Senator Ted Kenney, Jr., details how hiring people with disabilities is good for business. A disability rights lawyer and activist who lost his leg at the age of 12, Mr. Kennedy writes:
“I remember standing alongside my father in the Rose Garden watching President George H.W. Bush sign the bill [Americans With Disabilities Act] into law… but when it comes to employment, a cornerstone of the American dream, we have failed to live up to the promise of this historic law.”
Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that just 29 percent of disabled individuals are employed, compared to 75 percent of those who are not disabled – but the senator’s article offers hope. Citing the Accenture report, Mr. Kennedy makes a strong case for hiring people with disabilities – not just because “it always feels good to do what’s right,” but also because it’s proven to be good for business.