4 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Disability-Inclusion Practices

Harvard Business Review

Edward M. Kennedy, Jr., Member of the Firm, co-authored an article, "4 Ways to Improve Your Company's Disability-Inclusion Practices," with Chad Jerdee and Laurie Henneborn of Accenture, in the Harvard Business Review.

Following is an excerpt:

Despite articles on the advantages that people with disabilities can offer employers, too many companies hold themselves back when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. They see hiring (some) persons with disabilities as being “the right thing to do” but do not see it as part of a talent strategy that will benefit the company and outweigh what they see as the potential expenses and risk. In fact, a recent study by the National Organization on Disability indicates that only 13% of companies in the U.S. have reached the Department of Labor’s target of having 7% disability representation in their workforce.

That mindset puts companies at a disadvantage when it comes to acquiring and leveraging the talent they need in today’s tight job market.

Hiring people with disabilities need not cost any more than hiring someone without a disability. Accommodations for the majority of people with disabilities cost nothing. And when there is a cost involved with providing technology or other tools, it’s usually less than $500 and there are tax incentives available to help.

Moreover, recent economic modeling (part of an award-winning research study conducted by Accenture, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and Disability:IN) found a strong correlation between financial performance and well-developed disability-inclusion practices.