We typically think of hiring disabled employees as an act of compassion, so it comes as a surprise to many that studies show that benefits of hiring people with disabilities included improvements in profitability.  According to this article on Forbes.com, there are competitive advantages to hiring disabled and neuro- diverse employees.

Disability Inclusion Has its Advantages

Disability inclusion at work is about more than hiring people with disabilities. An inclusive workplace values all employees for their strengths. It offers employees with disabilities an equal opportunity to succeed, learn, be compensated fairly, and advance.

Some areas that are affected and create a competitive advantage are:

  • Profits and cost-effectiveness
  • Turnover and retention
  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Employee loyalty
  • Company image
  • Customer loyalty and satisfaction

In the above-linked Forbes.com article, Kevin Rizer says “Persons with disabilities are used to solving problems and often must work with extra effort and diligence to simply be considered and recognized at the same level as their peers. For the roughly 1 in 4 Americans with some disability, adapting and creating innovative solutions is necessary to survive and thrive in a world not designed for them.”   Kevin Rizer is a hearing impaired author of Always Wear Pants: And 99 Other Tips for Surviving and Thriving While You Work From Home.

Disabled Workers Face an Uphill Battle to Get Hired

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, 17.9% of persons with a disability were employed, down from 19.3% in 2019. The unemployment rates for persons with a disability increased from 2019 to 2020, to 12.6%.respectively. Obviously the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic has had a negative effect on these numbers.

Still, other studies show that despite having the skill sets and expertise to excel in the workplace, most autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed. Autism is considered a neurological developmental disability. Over 50,000 autistic people turn 18 years old every year.  They graduate from high school and are ready to take on college and careers, yet 40% of autistic adults never work for pay between high school and their early 20s.

It’s time companies take a look at how they are accommodating and creating opportunities for disabled and neurodiverse individuals.

Strategic Consulting is Your Partner in Managing Workplace ADA Issues

Our team is here to help with your disabilities accommodation issues, vocational rehabilitation needs, ergonomic evaluations, and other employee needs.

For twenty years, we have been helping companies in the Pacific Northwest with worker injuries, disabilities, and other vocational challenges.  We are here to support you in this unprecedented era of teleworking and WFM.

We have partnered and provided solutions to some of the largest companies in the world (such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon). But, at our core, we are still “people taking care of people,” one project at a time.  Our success is built upon and providing you the best solution to your workplace challenge.  Contact us today by filling out a form (below), submitting a referral, or visiting our ‘Contact Us‘ page to find your nearest office.


Ric Burd

Ric has been working in the industry since 2002, specializing in developing employer jobsite analysis and light duty programs, ergonomics consultations and adjustments, disability accommodations and providing effective return to work solutions. Ric is Matheson trained in Ergonomics and is a Certified Ergonomics Evaluation Specialist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Western Washington University and later his Master’s Degree, M.Ed., Education Counseling from Seattle Pacific University. Ric is currently a Registered Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Department of Labor and Industries and has been a Certified Disability Manager Specialist since 2006.

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