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Facts About Workers with Disabilities

Evidence shows that hiring individuals with disabilities is more than a civic duty, it is good for business, and it helps set individuals free. Now, that is good for everyone! Consider the facts below.
  • Fact: Workers with disabilities are often more proficient, productive, and efficient than their peers without disabilities according to researchers. “Job performance by workers with disabilities was equal to or better than fully functioning peers,” noted a 30-year DuPont study.

  • Fact: Disabled individuals form the largest single minority group in the country.

  • Fact: Disability is a part of life, experienced at some time by almost everyone. “Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the rights of individuals to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, and enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural and educational mainstream of American Society.”

  • Fact: Employees with disabilities have had 90% above-average safety and attendance records, far above the norm. People with disabilities can often be far more loyal to the employers who hire them and are less likely to be lured away by a bigger paycheck.

  • Fact: The National Disability Council reported a 50% jump in requests for workers with disabilities from firms as diverse as Merrill Lynch to Microsoft, explained Microsoft director of diversity, Santiago Rodriguez. “Workers with disabilities do everything from working on the production line to operating high technology equipment,” explained Philip Kosak, president of Carolina Fine Snacks in Greensboro, North Carolina.

  • Fact: The Work Incentives Improvement Act, passed in December 1999, allows workers with disabilities to continue their federally funded Medicaid benefits, even when privately employed.

  • Fact: “Our experience has been that once a person with a disability is working with other people, the human element enters in…There aren't a lot of things we all agree on, but one of them might be helping people to do their best and have integrity and pride in their work. When they see the human element, people who may have been adversaries become allies.” (Article on employing people with disabilities in the Great Falls Public Schools, Personnel, January '88.

Sources:

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1992

Business Week, “The New Workforce: A Tight Labor Market Gives the Disabled the Chance to Make Permanent Inroads” March 20, 2000

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Business Week, “The New Workforce: A Tight Labor Market Gives the Disabled the Chance to Make Permanent Inroads” March 20, 8 Nations Business, “A Very Able Workforce” October, 1998