“Leveling the Playing Field articulates that a strong workforce is an inclusive workforce and helps employers tactically address this issue,” said Mary Wright, program director for the research working group and a contributing author to the report. “Efforts to effectively employ people with disabilities can be considered a metaphor for maximizing the potential of all employees and the performance of an entire organization.”
Susanne Bruyère, director of Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute and contributing expert to the report, confirmed that “employers also report a number of indirect benefits that can result from hiring employees with disabilities, such as increased overall morale, productivity, safety, interactions with customers, and attendance.”
Other key findings in the report:
- More than one in ten Americans has at least one disability. This share of the U.S. population is only expected to grow.
- Providing federally required accommodations for disabled employees is not expensive. In fact, in many cases employers had no direct costs.
- People with disabilities and their families represent a population of 54.7 million and earn an estimated $269 billion, representing a significant market in the U.S.
- Eighty-seven percent of consumers agree or strongly agree that they prefer to give their business to companies that employ people with disabilities.
- Employers need to develop improved metrics to further advance the hiring, engagement and promotion of employees with disabilities, including veterans.