When it comes to employment, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DDs) have historically faced a lot of discrimination. As a result, significant barriers to employment remain for people with disabilities even in the modern job market. Research has shown that people with disabilities are three times less likely to be employed than their nondisabled counterparts, and those who do have jobs tend to earn less and have reduced hours. This is largely due to the persistent stigmatization of disability and the misconception that people with disabilities are less desirable as candidates.
The Benefits of Inclusion in the Workplace
As it turns out, however, this employment gap isn't just holding back people with disabilities. Businesses (and the wider economy) are also missing out on the valuable assets and labor of an underutilized population. Here, we'll discuss why employing people with disabilities is in companies' best interests.
- Loyal, hard-working employees. Individuals with disabilities are widely recognized as being exceptionally loyal and motivated, and having excellent problem-solving abilities. This makes sense, considering that many of them have spent their entire lives overcoming barriers that many other people don't have to deal with. And, given that employers and colleagues tend to consistently underestimate the abilities of people with I/DDs, those who do get a job are often highly motivated to perform well at work.
- Company reputation. Your hiring practices say a lot about who you are as a company. By embracing inclusive hiring practices, your business demonstrates its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce. This act of social responsibility can have a ripple effect beyond just your business—in choosing to do the right thing, you might inspire other business owners to do the same.
- Economic growth. Recent research has estimated that more equitable hiring practices for people with disabilities could increase the nation's GDP by as much as $25 billion. And when the economy grows, everyone wins.
Since 1948, Envision Unlimited has been dedicated to helping people with disabilities live happy, fulfilled lives in their communities. Our offerings, which include day programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; mental health, residential, and employment services; specialized foster care; and accredited applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy for children, are designed to address the unique needs of each of our clients—regardless of age, background, or ability.
Our services are grounded in a spirit of advocacy and empowerment. We believe that all individuals are capable of living successful lives if given the right opportunities. Contact us today to see how we can help you!