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Why Bother Hiring People with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities are now gaining recognition among companies. Blind individuals have proven that they can perform well in jobs requiring speaking and hearing skills. People with hearing impairments have displayed much efficiency in working on printed and electronic documents.
However, persons with disabilities still face much difficulty in finding a suitable job. A lot of companies are still reluctant to hire disabled people, although they may be well qualified for a specific job.
Nevertheless, it is a fact that there are a handful of reasons why hiring persons with disabilities is a good idea.
Support from Government
Companies that hire qualified persons with disabilities are eligible to receive support from the government.
An example of this is the Small Business Tax Credit: IRS CODE SECTION 44, Disabled Access Credit. This is an annual tax credit which small businesses in the U.S. can use to make their business more accessible to persons with disabilities.
The credit is 50 percent of expenditures over $250, not to exceed $10,250, for a maximum benefit of $5,000. The credit amount is subtracted from the total tax liability.
Some of the expenses covered in this tax credit include the purchase of adaptive equipment or the modification of existing equipment, the production of print materials in accessible formats, and the hiring of sign language interpreters for people with hearing impairments.
More information can be found at the DOL.gov website.
Persons with disabilities can also receive support from state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. VR agencies can provide persons with disabilities with good or services related to their jobs or the jobs they are applying for. Common examples of these goods and services include different types of assistive technology.
Another example is the United Kingdom’s Welsh Assembly Government Support for Employment (Disadvantaged/Disabled Workers) Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to allow the Welsh Assembly Government to provide incentives to Welsh businesses to recruit and retain disadvantaged and disabled workers through the provision of wage subsidies and support for additional costs related to the employment of disabled workers.
More information can be found at the wales.gov.uk site.
A More Positive Image
Employing persons with disabilities shows that your company upholds equal opportunities for everyone. You are also contributing in the elimination of discrimination in employment.
Within your company, this does a lot in setting a more work-friendly environment for all your employees. Hiring persons with disabilities would also inspire other companies to do the same.
Compliance with Legislation
Employing persons with disabilities ensures that you adhere to legislation set by the government. A primary example of this is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This law covers employment issues in its Title I employment provision. Employers covered by Title I of the ADA include private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions.
The ADA prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.
More information can be found at the ADA.gov website.
Service to Society
As an employer, you would be giving much service to your country by hiring persons with disabilities. We all know that a huge part of a country’s progress relies on its employment rate.
According to the UN website, in developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialized countries the figure is between 50% and 70%.
In addition, a survey done in the U.S. found that only 35% of working-age persons with disabilities are in fact employed, compared to an employment rate of 78% in the rest of the population. Two-thirds of unemployed respondents with disabilities said they would like to work but could not find jobs.
Another example taken from the efdni.org site: The latest Disability Rights Commission (DRC) briefing, based on the Labour Force Survey of April-June 07, shows that half of disabled people are in work compared with four-fifths of non-disabled people.
Disability rates increase with age; while 9% of adults aged 16-24 are disabled, this increases to 44% in the 50 – retirement age category. There are 6.9 million people with disabilities of working age in Britain. Nearly half of these are economically inactive with 30.5% expressing a desire to work.
Therefore, by employing disabled persons who are qualified for the jobs in your company, you are helping in the improvement of your country’s employment rate. People with disabilities that are unnecessarily staying at home causes undue burden to the economy. Employing them, on the other hand, contributes a lot to it. In addition, instead of staying at home, more people will be able to interact and contribute to society.