In an effort to combat employer misconceptions, a new online tool is offering an estimate of the costs — and financial benefits — involved in hiring people with disabilities.

The tool, known as “Hire Gauge,” asks for basic information including the company’s size, location and industry in order to provide an assessment of the expenses and incentives involved in selecting a job applicant with a disability.

It is believed to be the first online tool to provide businesses with a real-time look at the tax incentives and other benefits they can tap into when hiring individuals with disabilities, according to officials with Think Beyond the Label, a public-private partnership which created Hire Gauge and supports disability employment.

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“By presenting multiple sources of research into one package, businesses can get and share with others an instantaneous, factual look at how inclusive hiring can and will positively impact their bottom line,” said Barbara Otto, CEO of Health & Disability Advocates, the organization that operates Think Beyond the Label.

The information that Hire Gauge provides is based on data from human resource experts and diversity organizations as well as government sources and case studies.

Otto and her colleagues say the monetary incentives they’ve identified can be substantial. In some cases, a large company can qualify for up to $31,800 per hire, with savings coming from a wide variety of sources ranging from tax credits to recruitment assistance.

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