Are You Missing Out on the Benefits of Hiring Individuals With Disabilities?

Finding the right talent can be difficult, and if your organization isn’t hiring people with disabilities, you’re missing out on a vast untapped talent pool. According to, workers with disabilities possess skills and experiences that can offer employers a competitive edge. They contribute to higher productivity, lower absenteeism and increased customer loyalty. In a study conducted by Accenture, in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and DisabilityIN, businesses that actively seek to employ people with disabilities outperform businesses that do not. Their revenues were 28% higher, net income was two times more, and profit margins were higher by 30%.

We all know that turnover can be costly. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that on average it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee's salary to replace him or her. People with disabilities tend to seek stable and reliable work when searching for jobs. The Department of Labor found that employers who embraced disability saw a 90% increase in employee retention.

Some employers might have reservations related to the costs of needed job accommodations. These concerns are largely unfounded; the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) reveals that the majority of workplace accommodations cost nothing to make. Of those that do incur a cost, the typical one-time expenditure is $500.

Companies that employ people with disabilities may be eligible for certain federal and state tax deductions and financial incentives. The's Employer Guide To Tax Credits For Hiring Employees With Disabilities page lists federal financial incentives, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), the Disabled Access Credit, and the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction. Employers can also take advantage of state tax credits, although these vary by state - check with your state's Department of Labor.

The bottom line is that hiring individuals with disabilities is good for employers and the economy. An investigation by found that if companies were to actively participate in hiring people with disabilities, they would have access to a talent pool of more than 10.7 million people with diverse strengths, leadership styles and ways of thinking. The Accenture study referenced above also finds that the GDP could see a boost of nearly $25 billion if just 1% more people with disabilities joined the workforce!