Easing your concerns

Many employers have concerns about hiring people with disabilities because they've never done it before.

But hiring any employee raises a certain amount of questions, doesn't it?

 

Here are some common concerns about hiring people with disabilities, and responses drawn from recent research findings:

 

Concern: We don't want to sacrifice our standards.

Fact: The concept is to hire people who can do just as good a job. People with disabilities can do this if they have the right support. And you have a bigger pool of people to choose from.

 

Concern: This may create an uncomfortable dynamic with other employees:

Fact: It may require training, but everyone will benefit. Reports show that employees are happier in inclusive workplaces.

 

Concern: Could this affect our bottom line?

Fact: Research has found improved business success and more satisfied customers!

 

Concern: Charity is nice, but we can do it in other ways.

Fact: This is not charity; it's good business sense! Many successful companies do this specifically to improve their bottom line.

 

Concern: Will I have more injuries or pay more in health insurance?

Fact: Reports say neither of these are true.

 

In the meantime, click the button below to hear from employers who have hired PWD:

Walgreens

  • Leadership team believed in providing the same standards, same work, same pay, and same performance measures to individuals with disabilities

  • People with disabilities (PWD) comprise 46% of he workforce of the Windsor, CT distribution

  • PWD comprise 38% of the Anderson, SC distribution center

  • Walgreens has since expanded this same concept to its retail division

  • Advice: "Look at the hiring of individuals with [intellectual and developmental disabilities] not through the lens of a charitable activity but a strategy that is integral to business."

Holland & Knight LLP

  • Started working with Best Buddies Employment Program in 1994

  • Employee Barbara "rarely misses a day for illness or appointments. She wants to come to work."

  • Partner Robert Friedman noted that employer adjustments and accommodations were not found to be problematic, and that employees with disabilities "are fulfilling an need in our organization."

  • Advice for other companies: "It's a lot easier that you think it's going to be."

Fifth Third Bank

  • Hired 26 individuals with disabilities through training programs modeled on Project SEARCH

  • The bank has not created special jobs for applicants who received job training through this program; all employees with disabilities applied for, interviewed, and went through the hiring process just like anyone else.

  • Responsibilities include: working in the operations center, handling loan and credit card processing, customer service, mail operations, commercial operations

  • Advice to other companies: "Learn how to communicate with employees. Find stories of success and put them on billboards, in newsletters, in emails. Spread the word."

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

  • Uses a "person-centered approach" to integrating employees with intellectual disabilities into their offices.

  • They were unsure of how much time would be dedicated to managing the employees to ensure their success, but didn't view the uncertainty as a barrier.

  • Employees with disabilities "are all highly visible and active members of our local offices, which has been critical to their individual development and success."

  • What we've learned: "They have become an integral part of ... our day to day business operations."

Silicon Valley Bank

  • Roles include mail delivery, kitchen stocking, printer maintenance, filing, organizing conference rooms

  • What we've learned: "They're in level-appropriate positions, doing real work and getting paid competitive wages."

 

Look at this webpage to see more Myths and Myth Rebuttals: Making A Difference Works.

We'll you more later in this Guide. (See the section on Laws and Regulations.)

 

Sources: Institute for Corporate Productivity,Disability Compendium, Kessler Foundation

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