Numerous studies have shown that the employment of persons with disabilities has been a win-win for business. However, as of the 2018 American Community Survey, only 29% of the working-age population of people with disabilities was employed. With 40.6 million Americans reporting a physical or intellectual disability, that means nearly 13 percent of our eligible workforce is starkly underrepresented in the workplace.

Some tenacious business fears are the costs of inclusion in the form of accommodations and training, increased sick leaves or absences, or that the individual would be unable to meet performance standards.

Countless studies, surveys, and both public and private data have shown these fears to be unfounded. Inclusivity is a winner and to prove it here are 7 business-based reasons to hire people with disabilities.

1. It’s good for business! A 2018 study by Accenture in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN revealed that businesses that champion employing people with disabilities outperform those that do not. Their revenues were 28% higher, profit margins were higher by 30%, and net income was twice as much.

2. Reduced hiring and training costs. What if you could have a recruitment, training, and retention service provider at no cost to your business? Well. You. Can! The State of Colorado’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation enlists the help of vendors like us to develop job opportunities for people with disabilities, teach job skills and impart soft skills that will help the employee maintain their employment. Our staff of qualified job coaches reinforces job training and creates natural supports for the new hire that will further reduce onboarding costs. We work side by side with the new employee until they are meeting or exceeding your expectations. Once again, this service is absolutely FREE to you!

3. Tax incentives. Who doesn’t love tax breaks? In business, every little bit counts, and there are several tax incentives designed to encourage companies to hire employees with disabilities. Some of these credits are meant to compensate for the potential costs of accommodations made, and others are purely to motivate businesses to diversify their labor force. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit alone is worth $2,400 to $9,600 in federal tax reductions per hire. Not a tax expert? No problem! The State of Colorado’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation can help set this up at no cost. In addition to the above, you can apply for the ADA Small Business Tax Credit, the Disabled Access Credit, and the Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction.

4. Greater Productivity. Workplaces that are more inclusive of employees with disabilities often see increased productivity. In fact, according to a DuPont employee survey, when workers with disabilities are rated on the same indicators as other workers, 90 percent of them grade at “average” or even “above average.” Further, a diverse work environment benefits all employees. Studies reveal that when individuals with and without disabilities work together, the non-disabled workers become more aware of how to better the workplace and increase inclusion for everyone which leads to greater job satisfaction and decreased employee turnover.

5. Increased retention rate. The Department of Labor reports that businesses that hired people with disabilities saw a 90% increase in employee retention. Did you know that people with disabilities actually take fewer absence days, and are more likely to stick with a job than their non-disabled associates?

6. Inclusivity leads to innovation. What do closed captioning, voice activation, and spell-check all have in common? Each of these inventions were originally developed to support people with disabilities. The unique perspective that people with disabilities can offer your business may inspire you to see and do things differently, approach your clientele in a new way, and lead to innovations that are inclusive of demographics that you may have not considered.

7. Because it’s the right thing to do! Inclusivity is the way of the future and consumers are making purchasing decisions based on it. A survey by the University of Massachusetts showed that 92% of Americans approve more highly of businesses that hire people with disabilities than those that do not and 87% said they would rather give their business to companies that employ people with disabilities.

We could go on and on about the benefits and potential that hiring people with disabilities can create for your business, but the best way to find out is to try it for yourself. We hope you will partner with us in building an inclusive business community and culture!

Don’t want to take our word for it? Check out our sources below: