Last week Kevin Miller, the executive director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), talked to the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board about how hiring individuals with disabilities is good for Ohio and good for businesses.
In an email from OOD, Miller said the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in Ohio’s workforce offers several business advantages: reduced turnover, increased productivity, the opportunity to build customer loyalty, reach a market with an estimated $4.4 trillion in annual disposable income, and access to tax credits.
“Employment offers a path to earn a significantly higher income over the span of an individuals working age (18-64), versus income received from Supplemental Security Income,” he wrote. “Employment also means access to better health insurance and benefits and the ability to connect with peer groups and develop social circles, which in turn means a richer and more engaging life.”
Jeremy Shapira, senior director and human resources business partner for Market District and GetGo (Giant Eagle), also presented on his company’s experience with hiring individuals with disabilities. He discussed Giant Eagle’s pioneering work in embedding a professional career transition liaison in stores to assist individuals with disabilities in successfully transitioning to employment. This project recently launched in Cleveland and could expand to the Columbus area.
According to Shapira, the keys to successfully employing people with disabilities are: overcome your own fears; focus on abilities, not disabilities; build community partnerships; and enable ongoing support.
Click here to watch the entire presentation.