Did you know October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month? The month is almost over, but it’s never too late to embrace the U.S. Department of Labor’s theme for October 2014: “Expect. Employ. Empower.”
Disability employment awareness is about recognizing the value of including people with disabilities in the labor market; hiring people with disabilities; and maintaining inclusive and accommodating workplaces for all. As Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy says,
“We all have a role to play in — and benefit to gain from — increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities.”
If you’re a business owner or hiring manager you have the opportunity to spread disability employment awareness all year. So why should you hire people with disabilities? Here are three solid reasons:
1) You’ll gain committed employees. Many employers report that their employees with disabilities are among their most dedicated and productive. Why? They’re often highly motivated and skilled at adapting to new or difficult situations. Plus, they tend to stay in positions longer than people without disabilities. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, workers with disabilities had an 80 percent lower turnover rate than those without.
2) You’ll increase morale—and likely, productivity—at your workplace. Co-workers of people with disabilities report that they gain much from their colleagues with disabilities: a sense of inclusiveness for all workers, greater appreciation for their employer, and a broader perspective stemming from a more diverse workplace.
3) You may be eligible for tax benefits. When you hire someone with a disability, you may become eligible for several tax benefits such as the Disabled Access Credit, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Barrier Removal Tax Deduction and more. Read more about Tax Credits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities from the Internal Revenue Service.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is nearly over, but it’s not too late to take advantage of the benefits of hiring someone with a disability. Read more about Hiring a Diverse Workforce at CareerOneStop’s Business Center.