Facts

People with disabilities are trained

• People with disabilities work or are trained to work in all kinds of professions. Of the 120 million employed Americans, 16 million of them have a disability. They are executives, machines operators, managers, sales workers, mechanics, teachers, accountants, and health care workers. (Americans With Disabilities: West Virginia University, McNeil, 1993)
• 72% of working-age people with disabilities have high school diplomas or a higher education. Yet, of those with a college degree, 55% are unemployed, compared to 14% of college-educated people without disabilities. (National Organization on Disability, Harris Poll of Americans with Disabilities, 2000)

People with disabilities want to work

• Most people with disabilities want to work. 2 out of 3 people with disabilities who are unemployed (67%) say they would prefer to be working. Of those people with disabilities who say they are able to work, 56 percent are working, and the rest are looking. (N.O.H, Harris, 2000)

• A strong commitment exhibited by top management and a positive attitude among co-workers and supervisors are the best ways to remove employment barriers for people with disabilities, according to a Cornell University survey of human resource and equal employment opportunity personnel from the private and public sectors.(Susanne M. Bruyere, March 2000)

Employers Need & Will Need Their Skills

• The U.S. job growth is projected to swell by 55 million by 2008, compared to a growth of only 20 million in workers, of whom 3.6 million will have a disability. Employers will need these 3.6 million people to fill vacant positions. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, 1999)

People with Disabilities & Their Families Have Purchasing Power

• One in five Americans (54.4 million people) has a disability. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) An estimated 20.3 million families or 29% of all families have at least one member with a disability. (Family Resource Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey, 1990)

• Marketing research shows that families with one or more persons with disabilities are significantly more likely to do business with a disability-friendly company, and consumers, with and without disabilities, are more likely to buy from those companies. (National Family Opinion, Inc., Survey for 1996 Paralympic Games, 1994)

Employers Benefit From Hiring People With Disabilities

• Washington Mutual, a financial services company, reported an 8% percent attrition rate in 1999 among people with disabilities working at its call centers, compared to an overall rate of 45 percent. Cost to recruit, train, and develop new employees was $15,000. Washington Mutual saved money by hiring more people with disabilities because they had better attendance and were more committed to their jobs. (National Organization of Disability, Craig Gray, Director of EmployAbility, 2001)

• Tax incentives are in place to encourage employers to hire people with disabilities, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a tax credit of up to $2,400 per individual hired. Small businesses also can receive a tax credit for the cost of accommodations, covering 50% of eligible expenditures up to $10,000. For more information, call 1-866-4-USA-DOL or visit www.earnworks.com.
The Top 10 Reasons to Hire People with Disabilities

1. Employees with disabilities can ease concerns about labor supply.
2. People with disabilities have equal or higher job performance ratings, higher retention rates and lower absenteeism.
3. Employees with disabilities can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending.
4. Diverse work groups can create better solutions to business challenges.
5. People with disabilities are better educated than ever, and are proven to have met and/or exceeded challenges.
6. A person with a disability motivates work groups and increases productivity.
7. Companies that hire and accommodate people with disabilities in their workplaces can receive tax benefits.
8. Employing people with disabilities is good for the individual, the business, and society. This is a “win-win-win” strategy.
9. People with disabilities are motivated by the desire to give something back, and opportunities for personal growth, job flexibility, and social inclusion.
10. It’s ability, not disability, that counts. People with disabilities are better educated than ever, and are proven to have met and/or exceeded challenges.

Employing people with disabilities is good for the individual, the business and society. This is a “win-win-win” strategy, officials said.

Employees with disabilities can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending.
Facts and Figures: Hiring Workers with Disabilities

Despite all the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities, unemployment remains a major obstacle for people with disabilities.

October has been designated National Disability Employment Awareness Month as a way to highlight the talents of people with disabilities, the potential they represent for the Massachusetts economy and the barriers they face when they want to find a job.

Consider this:
• 1 in 5 Americans has a disability.
• Only 32 percent of Americans with disabilities aged 18 to 64 have jobs, compared to 81 percent of working-age people without disabilities.
• Of those people with disabilities who are not working, more than two out of three say they would like to work.
According to a study by the NOD and Harris Interactive, a Rochester, N.Y.-based market research and consulting firm.

People with disabilities also don’t earn as much. The average yearly wage for a worker with disabilities is about $33,000 vs. about $43,269 for Americans without disabilities.

What makes this even more startling is the fact that:
• Compared to their non-disabled counterparts, workers with disabilities have equal or higher job performance ratings, higher retention rates and lower absenteeism.
• Disabled employees can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending.
• A number of financial benefits are available to employers that hire people with disabilities.

Men and women with disabilities who want to work face a number of obstacles. Many employers think that hiring people with disabilities is a good idea but when it comes to making a job offer, their fears and lack of understanding get in the way:
• More than 30 percent of employers in one study believed that disabled workers couldn’t perform the jobs they were trying to fill, despite the fact that technology has helped to level the playing field when it comes to success on the job.
• Employers often reject job candidates with disabilities because they expect to pay a high cost to adapt jobs. They’re wrong. Most accommodations cost little or nothing. When people with disabilities have jobs, everybody benefits.

When people with disabilities have jobs, everybody benefits.

Money comes back to the state in the form of increased taxes and reduced public assistance payments. And people who have jobs have home ownership, greater access to healthcare and higher education and are more active in their communities. Increasingly, there appears to be a renewed emphasis on employers recognizing the significance of employing workers with disabilities in an effort to enhance their image in the community (Olson et al., 2000; Nietupski et al., 1996), strengthen their commitment to corporate social responsibility, (Pitt- Catsouphes & Butterworth, 1995), or increase the diversity of their workforce to reflect that of the general population.
Relative to other employers, those who have previous experience with workers with disabilities report more favorable perceptions of individuals with disabilities in the workforce and a willingness to hire them.