By hiring employees with disabilities, your organization may benefit in many measurable ways.
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) found that, “Employers who made accommodations for employees with disabilities reported multiple benefits as a result. The most frequently mentioned direct benefits were: (1) the accommodation allowed the company to retain a valued employee, (2) the accommodation increased the employee’s productivity, and (3) the accommodation eliminated the costs of training a new employee.”
- Accenture noted that, “There are 15.1 million people of working age living with disabilities in the U.S., so the research suggests that if companies embrace disability inclusion, they will gain access to a new talent pool of more than 10.7 million people.”
- Accenture also found that disability-inclusive employers earn 28% higher revenue, double the net income and 30% higher economic profit margins than their peers.
- Some employers may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This may apply if the employer hires people from targeted groups who consistently face significant barriers to employment.
U.S. policies require employers who offer telework options to ensure their telework tools are accessible. This includes any XR technologies used for conferencing, meetings, communication and collaboration.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance for employers that offer telework programs. This guidance notes that, “…if an employer does offer telework, it must allow employees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in such a program.”
- The EEOC also published specific guidance on What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.
- The Council of State Governments (CSG) offers guidance on Disability-Inclusive Telework for States: State Approaches to Increasing Access & Inclusion.
- In most cases, U.S. policies require private and public employers to buy and use accessible information and communication technologies (ICT). In particular, the federal government has recognized that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), access to information and electronic technologies is a civil right and a vital employment issue for people with disabilities.
Using accessible technologies will help your employees now and in the future. JAN found that 20% of workers will experience a disability lasting one or more years during their professional lives. These employees should not suddenly find the tools they need to complete their work difficult or impossible to use.
Without accessible technologies, employees may require costly adaptations to continue using the tools their jobs require. Organizations may need to quickly shift resources to make a technology accessible or implement processes that should have already been in place. Employers that use accessible technologies future-proof their workplaces and actively support employees throughout their careers.