People with disabilities are veteran problem solvers.
If you are one of the millions of Americans looking for a job, you will know that companies want to hire candidates who demonstrate “creative problem solving.” Why not then hire individuals who out of necessity must creatively problem solve in their daily lives? Because people with disabilities find innovative ways to maintain their independence, they are used to analyzing challenging situations and coming up with a viable game plan. It is conceivable that this behavior would beneficially transfer to a business setting.
Hiring persons with disabilities sets an example for your company culture.
If you’ve ever gone through orientation at a large corporation, there normally is a segment in the orientation curriculum about Company X’s “commitment to diversity.” Yet people of protected classes are still underrepresented in the majority of American companies.
Last week when orbiTouch attended the Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ Employment Conference, we learned that company culture at organizations who hire those with special needs becomes stronger because the company is figuratively and literally “putting their money where their mouth is.” Companies experience higher retention rates and increased company morale because those in charge followed through with the company’s commitment to diversity. In an age characterized by layoffs and broken promises, follow through speaks volumes about credibility as a company.
People with disabilities offer a unique perspective.
Say you’re planning the biggest event of the year for your company. By holding this event, you’re hoping to strengthen relationships with existing clients and gain exposure to develop relationships with new ones.
But have you considered the following: Is your event venue wheelchair accessible? Do you plan to incorporate media into your presentation? If so, did it occur to you to use closed captioning for dialogue so individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can fully understand the presentation?
These are details may not seem that important–until you lose business when a potential client who has a special need was not accommodated. Businesses who fail to accommodate those with special needs are often seen as backwards and non-progressive. By ignoring the needs of a sizable population, in this case persons with disabilities, you are narrowing the potential impact and success of your company. Employing persons with disabilities and having them play a active role in company policymaking prevents the likelihood of a public relations faux-pax, like the hypothetical example above, because people with disabilities bring a unique life perspective to the table. Because of their incredible problem solving skills, persons with disabilities are able to anticipate problems that would be overlooked by the non-disabled.