NJM Blog

Hiring People with Disabilities is Good Business

Social inclusion - woman with down syndrome working in small business

National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October is a time to recognize the skills and talents of people with disabilities and ensure they have the access and resources needed to gain employment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25% of American live with a disability. Less than 29% of them between the ages of 16 and 64 are employed, according to a 2018 study by Accenture, in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The value people with disabilities bring:

The Accenture study found that businesses that employ people with disabilities outperform businesses that don’t and that revenues and profit margins were approximately 30% higher. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers who embraced disability saw a 90% increase in retention of valued employees.

Businesses seeking to create a more inclusive workplace can begin by focusing on the skills that people with disabilities offer, such as lower absenteeism, higher safety records, and insights into serving customers with disabilities.

Employers can start the process by:

  • Talking to other employers about their experiences

  • Increasing workplace awareness of the value of hiring people with disabilities

  • Having programs in place to support such employees

  • Determining necessary workplace accessibility and accommodations

When hiring people with disabilities:

  • Be candid about the expectations and needs for the position

  • Provide learning experiences similar to other employees

  • Manage them no different than other employees

  • Allow them to grow into their role, and your company

Where to check for resources:

  • State Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy

  • Job Accommodation Network

  • The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology

  • Employer Assistance and Resource Network


Disability Impacts All of Us Infographic | CDC
Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage | Accenture
Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics - 2021 (bls.gov)
Hire employees with disabilities (sba.gov)
4 Ways to Hire More People with Disabilities (shrm.org)