Businesses see big benefits to hiring people with disabilities

What do Starbucks, AT&T, Northrop Grumman and Ernst & Young have in common? A commitment to a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities.

Sarah Blahovec recently wrote about these companies and why they value hiring people with disabilities for The Huffington Post.

“One theme we commonly hear when discussing disability (or any minority) employment is that it is the right thing to do. Providing equal opportunity is providing equal rights; it’s moral and ethical,” she wrote. But, Blahovec wondered, “What if we looked at disability employment from a business perspective instead of from an advocacy perspective?”

Here’s a sample of what representatives for each company said:

  • Starbucks – When we think about hiring for Starbucks, we think beyond labels. We challenge ourselves to look beyond traditional sources and typical profiles, to bring in people that share our values and our passion for service and community. 
  • Northrop Grumman – We are committed to creating a work environment that values diversity and inclusion because it creates innovation, improves productivity and boosts profitability. 
  • AT&T – We are company where everyone’s differences are authentically embraced, valued and vital to our business inside and out. Whether it is by ensuring an accessible environment so employees can win at work or offering the accessibility products and services to our customers, accessibility is our commitment to connect people to the world around them.
  • Ernst & Young – We seek the best talent, period. To find the specialized skills we need, we have to tap the broadest available talent pools, including people with a wide range of physical, cognitive and mental health abilities. People with disabilities often have well-honed problem solving skills and a degree of adaptability that are especially valuable in today’s fast changing business environment.

Blahovec’s conclusion? “These companies are not only extremely successful leaders in their fields but are also powerful models of disability inclusion that make compelling arguments for greater disability workforce inclusion. They not only reject the outdated ideas that disabled workers are liabilities to business, but actively promote the perspective that workers of all abilities bring different strengths to the companies’ missions.”

Read the full article here.


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