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The Team at ALSO

July 26, 2023

The Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

For some employers, hiring someone with a disability may initially feel a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, many employers, including small business owners, have discovered several advantages of embracing disability inclusion practices.

Person with an intellectual or developmental disability works on a computer in an office.

What are the Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities?

In a nutshell, expanding employment opportunities for community members living with disabilities has a positive impact on virtually every aspect of business: including profit margins, organizational culture, and fellow employees. Most of all, hiring qualified individuals who also have a disability contributes to an inclusive, equitable, and diverse community. Below, we will take a closer look at the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.

1. Gain New Perspectives

We all have varied experiences that also apply to our jobs. An employee with a disability will look at a situation, task, or issue differently than his/her colleagues without disabilities. This unique perspective improves the potential for successful customer awareness and problem-solving.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hiring People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: What to Know

2. Acquire a Competitive Edge

The advantages of gaining new perspectives play a key role in making businesses more competitive. Employees with disabilities apply personal experiences, and thus better insight, when it comes to choosing products and providing services. Furthermore, customers with disabilities feel more comfortable with employees who are similar to them. When they see that leadership embraces a diverse workforce, it increases customer loyalty.

According to the Employer Assistance Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), people with disabilities represent the third largest market in the United States. Add to that family, friends, and advocates, and we’re talking about billions in potential market share. Wow!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Check out the EARN website for valuable employer assistance resources.

3. Reduce Employee Turnover

Most employers struggle with stubborn turnover rates. It doesn’t take a finance expert to know that costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training qualified workers can be exorbitant.

Research clearly demonstrates that employees with disabilities know very well how to stick to a job with motivation and conscientiousness. In the article, “The Economic Argument for Hiring People with Disabilities,”  research determined these employees remain at their jobs much longer than the general population, with higher levels of job satisfaction.

4. Benefit from Tax Incentives

Federal agency tax incentives defray many costs in making workplace accommodations.

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC):  For employees experiencing significant employment barriers and/or completing vocational rehabilitation services.
  • Disabled Access Credit: For businesses earning $1 million dollars or less or having no more than 30 employees the previous year.
  • Architectural/ Transportation Tax Deduction: to remove barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities.

5. Achieve Greater Workplace Diversity

Diversifying the company culture communicates to all that this is a place where everyone is accepted, supported, and can express their varied talents. It promotes empathy, awareness, and sensitivity to the needs of others. Furthermore, customer satisfaction is greatly improved with employee teams of diverse backgrounds.

Employers commonly ask about the cost of workplace accommodations, which is understandable. An employer survey conducted by the Job Accommodation Network reveals that most accommodations (56%) cost absolutely nothing to make!

6. Promote Community Inclusion

Financial incentives, workforce solutions, and customer loyalty aside, it’s extremely rewarding to be able to say, “I promote community inclusion in my business for all.”

When recruiting, hiring practices, and training include individuals with disabilities, employers make major contributions to their health, well-being, social, and financial freedoms. In short, by promoting community inclusion, there are multiple benefits for both the individuals and the surrounding community.

Person with an intellectual or developmental disability in the workplace

Supported Employment Services at ALSO

ALSO (Advocates for Life Skills and Opportunity) is a leader in supported employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oregon. We work to match your company with qualified applicants that meet your business needs and company culture.

By holding tight to our Vision and Mission, we have successfully partnered with employers to create countless WIN-WIN employer-employee relationships.

Testimonials from our Employer Partners

Check out the following testimonials from several of our employer partners:

“ALSO is an amazing outfit. We have been working with them for quite some time and they have been a joy to work with. It’s a really neat program that I’m proud to be a part of.”

-Jake, Skyland Pub, Troutdale, OR

“Employing people who are supported by job coaches has been a game changer for me. The impact on the atmosphere of the club, along with the fact that they do a great job, has made a huge difference in our service and our bottom line.”

Tate Metcalf, owner of Sisters Athletic Club

“I would recommend any business to hire ALSO. It’s an unbelievable benefit to my company and to yours.”

Mike Rowan, Deschutes Brewery

“Each time James comes in, shakes my hand, gives me a big hug, got to love that. I’d encourage business to reach out to ALSO, the impact that you would have on that individual is tremendous.”

Kyle Gibson, KG Specialties

“It has been a pleasure working with ALSO and having Marissa on our team.”

Erika Noice, LaPine Subway

“Working with ALSO is great for our business and our community and we are happy to be able to provide meaningful employment while also fulfilling our labor needs. Our ALSO employee is a wonderful addition to our team and the ALSO support staff are helpful, caring and great to work with.”

Robert Axle, Robert Axle Project, Bend, Oregon

Become an Employer Partner Today!

Partnerships with ALSO benefit businesses as well as the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who we support. ALSO has dedicated employment specialists that are excited to work with you. Please contact them to learn more about becoming an employer partner:

Chaz Volavka [Portland Metro]:; 503-758-8576

Spencer Brown [Central and South Oregon]:; 541-410-0317

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