The Kessler Foundation‘s recently-released 2015 National Employment & Disability Survey confirms that most people with disabilities want to work, and are overcoming barriers to succeed in the workplace.
The survey of more than 3,000 American adults with disabilities was conducted by the University of New Hampshire. For the purposes of this survey, disability was defined as experiencing a difficulty in one or more of the following areas: hearing; vision; upper limb movement and manipulation; lower limb mobility; and cognition. Nearly 65% of respondents reported multiple disabilities.
Some compelling highlights from the survey include:
• Almost 70% of respondents were striving to work (working, actively preparing to work, pursuing training, getting help preparing a resume, etc.).
• The most common workplace accommodation was a flexible schedule, such as flexible start and end times, working from home, and taking more breaks. Many employers today offer flexible working hours to all employees, regardless of whether they have a disability.
• The greatest barrier to job searching was lack of education or training.
DePaul Industries has been employing people with disabilities since 1971, and every day we see the benefits of hiring employees with disabilities. DePaul Industries has adopted a broader definition of disability than the one in this study, to include any condition that has a negative impact on major life functions, negatively impacts the ability to be employed, and is permanent.
Employers should hire a person with disability for the same reason they’d hire any employee: because they’re the right fit for the job. People with disabilities also contribute to your workforce’s diversity, bringing adaptability, creativity and unique perspectives. And in today’s very competitive employment market, with baby boomers retiring and a talent shortage on the horizon, people with disabilities are candidates who are often overlooked, but can be a major asset to your team.