Disability Employment Low, But Employer Attitudes Improving
Most large businesses are hiring individuals with disabilities and once they do, they’re likely to hire more, according to a survey released this month by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Further, employers say that accommodating people with disabilities costs about the same as accommodating other employees.
Still, just 46 percent of Americans with disabilities ages 21 to 64 are employed compared with 84 percent of people in the same age group who do not have disabilities.
In the biggest survey of its kind, the government asked representatives of nearly 4,000 companies about their attitudes and behavior surrounding the hiring of people with disabilities. Here’s a look at the findings of The Survey of Employer Perspectives on the Employment of People with Disabilities:
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• About 19 percent of companies in the United States hire people with disabilities, with large companies most likely to. Just under 11 percent of small companies report employing people with disabilities, while 22.6 percent of medium-sized companies and 53.1 percent of large companies say they do.
• Large companies are also more likely to recruit people with disabilities. But public sector employers are more likely to recruit this group than private employers.
• Companies that do not currently recruit people with disabilities reported that they might do so if they had more information about performance and productivity among people with disabilities. Such employers also want to know how hiring people with disabilities will help make them more money.
• One major reason employers cite for not hiring people with disabilities is that the nature of the work they perform makes hiring this population prohibitive. Other concerns include the cost of employees with disabilities, lack of skills or experience and worries about the proper ways to take disciplinary action.
• Employers who do employ workers with disabilities cite cost and limited qualifications as the reasons many people with disabilities do not get promoted.