Why hire chronically ill and disabled talent? The proof is in the numbers.
We get it: you’re looking to hire the best talent to join your team. And you care about building an inclusive team, because who doesn’t? It’s 2021.
Now more than ever, public trust and perception of companies depend on their commitment to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Although huge progress has been made towards equality across boundaries of gender, race and sexual orientation, one aspect of D&I is neglected way too often. That is disability.
Persons with disabilities and chronic illnesses continue to be underrepresented in corporate America.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for workers with a disability declined from 18.9 % in April 2020 to 12.5% in September 2020. While the unemployment rate for workers with a disability may have declined from April to September, the unemployment rate still remains higher than the 7.8% recorded in January 2020.
There are 15.1 million people of working age living with disabilities in the U.S. Not to mention the 123 million working-age Americans living with chronic illnesses.
That’s nearly HALF of the U.S. population. Let’s soak that in.
Disability inclusion is an OPPORTUNITY, not a chore. Especially now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are shifting towards accommodations for remote work. While some workers struggle to adapt to work from home, those with disabilities have already perfected it. They are well aware of the self-scheduling and structure necessary to balance their health and careers from home.
Hiring people with disabilities and illnesses is good for people—and it’s good for companies. Having inclusive, accessible, flexible workplaces (and policies) is key to helping everyone work better.
Businesses that foster strong disability inclusion programs have better access to talent, so they can find the right person for the right job. These businesses have better employee retention. And they have the tools they need to help their employees thrive. This is not just a blanket statement. The proof is in the numbers.
According to a 2018 report by DisabilityIn and Accenture: Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage, “companies that foster disability inclusion achieve 28% higher revenue, double the net income, and 30% higher economic profit margins. They also achieve 90% higher retention rates and a 72% increase in employee productivity.”
As you can see, disability and chronic illness inclusion is good for business, but not many businesses know or take advantage of that fact.
Unfortunately, it has taken the COVID-19 pandemic to show us the benefits of non-traditional work solutions. The coronavirus has led many companies to adopt fundamental technology solutions, realizing that to be productive, an employee does not always need to be physically in the office. It is possible to increase accessibility and flexibility and still maintain a high-quality work product. These trends present new opportunities for working-age individuals with disabilities or chronic illness who have long been left out of the job market.
Companies, both small and large, across the country should really take advantage of the current opportunity and national crisis to step up and rethink inclusivity, reassess hiring practices and policies, actively reach out to chronically ill and disabled Americans, and take concrete action to advance greater inclusivity at work.
So how can you take action? HIRE, SUPPORT, and RETAIN chronically ill and disabled talent.
Interested in learning how your company can become more inclusive today? Set up a call with us and our team will provide you with the resources you need to get started.
The future of work is inclusive, are you?
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We sat down with leadership at KeepTruckin, a Chronically Capable partner, to find out what makes their workplace inclusive for chronically ill and disabled employees.
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We spoke with Lucia Romano, a supervising attorney of the Employment Voting and Access Team (EVA), Client Assistance Program, and a team focused on employment at Disability Rights Texas. Lucia outlined helpful strategies for both chronically ill and disabled professionals as well as employers to make the workplace inviting and accessible.
Do I have to disclose my disability to my employer? What accommodations am I entitled to request? Can I be paid less because of my reasonable accommodation? So many questions might arise as you go through the employment process.
There are simply no excuses for not hiring chronically ill workers. Doing so would detrimentally reduce your available talent pool.
Let’s start by getting this straight: you do not have to disclose anything about your health to an employer. If you wish to disclose, you’re allowed to disclose at any point in time, whether that be during the interview, during the negotiation process, once you’ve started, or even three years into your job.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the monumental passage of the ADA and the 75th annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in buildings, transit, schools, planes, and work enviornments, the ADA finally recognized people with disabilities as the valuable members of society that they are, following years of discrimination and opression prior.