Workplace diversity leads to increased revenues, reduced costs, greater innovation, increased employee engagement, increased productivity and commitment. However in order to reap these benefits, organizational leaders must clarify the connection between their diversity efforts and their business goals. Businesses that value diversity understand that disability inclusion adds another dimension of value. Best practice companies ensure that their workforce mirrors their marketplace. In other words, there is most likely always a tie to the disability community, if you provide products and services to the general marketplace. Also if your organization directly serves this community, you have a straight line to market share by acknowledging and providing services needed by this community, The community will also expect to see themselves represented in your workforce. By including individuals with disabilities (both apparent and non-apparent) in the workforce, you will be better positioned to create and improve products and services to all.
Employers who strategically reach out to the community of individuals with disabilities will expand their market advantage – which translates to a bottom-line return on investment. Today there are more than 50 million Americans with disabilities. The disability community is growing. Eighty-two percent (82%) of disabilities are acquired through age, illness, accident or war. It is the only community that includes all other diverse populations.
In the marketplace, the disability community has an estimated annual buying power of $3 trillion and aggregate discretionary income of $220 billion. Buying power increases substantially when “family and friends” are included.
According to a Gallup poll, eighty-eight percent (88%) of Americans prefer to do business with companies that hire people with disabilities. Therefore, your efforts at proactively focusing on the disability consumer, as well as the recruitment, retention and promotion of individuals with disabilities will result in a distinct strategic market advantage.