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Why Hiring People with Disabilities is Great for Business – Facts & Figures about Disability and Employment

E Foley 10/30/18

People with all abilities in a reception area waiting for job interview

Did you know that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month? Level Access hires people with disabilities whenever we can! They deliver incredible value to the organization in positions from entry-level customer success associates up to executives. Our employees cite our team’s diversity and inclusiveness as some of the best parts of being a Leveler.

We encourage organizations large and small to join us in hiring people with disabilities. Since many people are unaware of the statistics on disability and employment, we dove into the data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) and put together an infographic to give you some context.

You can download a copy here.

About the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey asks six questions to determine the type of disability for each individual.

  • Visual Disability: Is this person blind or does he/she have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses?
  • Hearing Disability: Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing?
  • Ambulatory Disability: Does this person have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs?
  • Cognitive Disability: Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?
  • Self-Care Disability: Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?
  • Independent Living Disability: Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping?

The ACS statistics are based on a sample of just over 210,000 Americans and our infographic focuses on those of working age (16-64).

Facts about Disability & Employment

The employment gap between people with disabilities and people without disabilities was 40.7 percentage points. Many people with disabilities want to work but struggle to find employment. Of those that are employed, the median earnings gap between them and people without disabilities is over $10,000 per year.

It takes private employers and state programs working together to increase employment rates for working-age people with disabilities. Three states have cracked the code and have the highest employment rates for people with disabilities: North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

People with disabilities are underrepresented in 16 of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations, including management, professional, or technical jobs. Many are in 17 of the 20 fastest-declining occupations, including those in service, production, and transportation.

What Can Your Organization Do?

A few things you can do to hire more people with disabilities:

  • Be sure your website is accessible, including the system you use to take job applications.
  • Reach out to local advocacy groups, veteran’s groups, and your state’s vocational rehabilitation office.
  • Consider your company policies. Telecommute and flexible scheduling options enable more people with disabilities to be included in the workforce.
  • Check out this guide by EARN (Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion) on Steps to Recruit and Retain Qualified People with Disabilities.

Download our Disability & Employment Infographic Now!

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