- The biggest barrier to having a full quality of life for 57 million handicapped people in the U.S. is landing a rewarding career, Carol Glazer and Howard Green write for Just Means. Only around 20% of the 30 million adults with disabilities actually participate in the workforce due to stigmas about disabilities and a lack of opportunities.
- Another belief that can block employment for disabled workers is that they cost too much in terms of benefits. However, a 2012 survey conducted by Walgreens showed that there was a 48% lower turnover rate among disabled workers, along with a 67% reduction in medical costs.
- Glazer and Green recommend that all employers create a disability-friendly culture that includes clear policies and processes to ensure all workers are supported. They should also use disability positive images and messages on corporate recruitment materials and career websites.
The U.S. has several laws to protect individuals with both mental and physical disabilities. Employers need to look at current recruitment marketing and practices to make sure that they are not inadvertently turning good candidates away. Subtle attitudes need to be kept in check.
Educating managers on the value of disabled people in the workplace can help settle any concerns. This is happening at the federal level, but it also needs to happen in the private sector.