- Individuals with disabilities are high-performing employees, but they still face challenges in finding employment, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). To empower HR professionals to hire inclusively, SHRM and the SHRM Foundation have partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and Delivering Jobs to bring awareness to the contributions of individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental differences, the organizations announced Oct. 22.
- About 13% of U.S. workplaces have disability-specific inclusion initiatives, according to SHRM research published in May. By 2025, Delivering Jobs seeks to enable 1 million employment opportunities, SHRM said. The founding partners of the organization include the Special Olympics, Autism Speaks and Best Buddies.
- "Research shows individuals who are differently abled bring tremendous perspective, talent and value as they help create a more inclusive workplace," Wendi Safstrom, executive director of the SHRM Foundation, said. "Inclusive hiring isn't just a nice thing to do. It's a good thing for society, our communities, families — and the business, too."
The ongoing pandemic has resulted in disproportionate job losses for workers with disabilities, surveys have shown.
A Global Disability Inclusion survey released May 5 found that 51% of respondents with disabilities were furloughed, laid off or thought they would lose their jobs in the next 90 days; only a third (28%) of respondents without disabilities said they have experienced or expected to experience the same. As many companies struggle to keep operations running amid “unprecedented changes to their work environments," this can negatively impact employees with disabilities, Meg O'Connell, CEO and founder of Global Disability Inclusion, said in a statement in May.
The greater majority of HR professionals (97%) and people managers (92%) believe that employees with disabilities routinely perform the same or outperform coworkers without disabilities, SHRM said, according to its research. Amid the pandemic, individuals with disabilities who are members of employee resource groups ERGs are helping to create inclusive environments at companies.
"As companies and organizations strive to create inclusive cultures, I would recommend embracing the input from their current employees who are in the disability community," Marcus Williams, principal talent consultant at Kaiser Permanente, told HR Dive in a previous interview.