Worldwide, about 1 in 5 people will experience a disability in their lifetime, and one of the challenges they face isn’t just living with the challenges presented by their unique condition, it’s being taken seriously by employers while job-seeking. Sadly, a lower percentage of people with “disabilities” are working when compared to the general population, and many differently-abled people experience discrimination when seeking work. If you’re in a position that allows you to hire employees, keep reading.
Pity Helps No One
When I was a child, my parents did everything in my power to make sure I grew up to be a confident and capable woman. Nobody wants to be pitied, and I was (and am) no different. I have spent my whole life not only adapting to the challenge of being born without arms but seeking to achieve at a high level by anyone’s standards. I don’t know every differently-abled person by name, but I’d be willing to bet that most of them adapt and seek out their own dreams. There’s no reason why a differently-abled person can’t achieve what a traditionally-abled person can. There just isn’t!
Why You Should Hire Differently-Abled People
Hiring qualified people with disabilities is a good move, and not just for ethical reasons. A study done by the Chicago Lighthouse showed that employees with disabilities have higher job retention rates, and prove themselves to be reliable workers. In addition, there are tax credits available for companies that hire differently-abled workers. Contrary to popular belief, having differently-abled people in the office doesn’t create additional challenges for a company. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act, organizations of all sizes have put in the effort to make their workplaces physically accessible and inclusive, and although we still have a long way to go, the world is much more accessible these days.
Being open to hiring differently-abled people is a clear demonstration that your company is serious about inclusion and fostering a supportive atmosphere. Also, differently-abled people are typically very good at adapting to challenges: after all, they’ve been doing it their whole life.
The point is clear: if you’re not hiring people who are differently-abled, your company is seriously missing out!
I’m Jessica Cox, and being born without arms has taught me how to adapt to life’s challenges in creative and effective ways. If you want me to come to share my strategies for living a better, more productive life with the attendees at your convention or religious gathering, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.