Here are some highlights of this week’s news about disability inclusion in the workforce — and how you can use the information.
1. Technology and flexibility have allowed more people with disabilities to enter the workforce
What’s reported: People with disabilities are employed in lower numbers than people who don’t have them. But over the last few months, they’ve been joining the labor force at a faster rate than other people, according to a story from Reuters. Technological advances is one reason. Flexibility is another. And more companies are looking for new sources of talent at a time when unemployment is at record lows.
What it means for you: People with disabilities are a growing part of the U.S. workforce. This article challenges outdated notions that create barriers for people with disabilities who are looking for jobs. Get to know the technologies that are contributing to this trend. Venmo and VoiceOver are two examples. Learn how different technologies might be valuable to your workforce, and look for ways that Understood can help your organization remove barriers to employment.
2. [object Object], honors pioneers championing inclusion in the workplace
What’s reported: The New York Post featured three executives for their commitment to inclusion. One was Jim Sinocchi, head of disability inclusion at JPMorgan Chase. Over three years, Sinocchi has helped Chase hire 2,400 people with disabilities. Another was Susan Scheer, CEO of the Institute for Career Development (ICD). She’s overseen the launch of the first accessible Cisco Networking Academy in the United States. The third was David Kearon, the director of adult services at Autism Speaks.
What it means for you: Leaders are being recognized for their inclusion work. That’s great publicity for their organizations. Find ways to highlight the success of your initiatives.
3. [object Object], highlights the new faces of disability and shines light on busting stereotypes
What’s reported: Forbes has a regular column on the experiences of people with disabilities in the workplace. In this particular piece, younger employees talk about their opportunities and challenges. They also discuss the benefits of being self-advocates at work.
What it means for you: This piece is a great one to share with your entire organization. Use it to help break barriers, dispel myths, and build a culture of inclusion.
4. Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin urges companies to hire people with disabilities
What’s reported: Former Iowa senator Tom Harkin, the author of the Americans With Disabilities Act, recently spoke at the National Press Club. And he had a message for U.S. companies: Hiring people with disabilities can boost your bottom line. He cited an Accenture study that suggests that companies that hire people with disabilities can grow their revenue by 28 percent over four years.
The U.S. economy could also see a boost. If the employment rate of people with disabilities grew by only 1 percent, the economy could grow by as much as $25 billion.
What it means for you: This video featuring the former senator is a helpful reminder to the higher ups in your organization about the monetary value that comes with hiring people with disabilities.
5. In a tight labor market, a disability may not be a barrier
What’s reported: The New York Times reported on a 12-week internship program at Dell Technologies headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. The program is designed for job seekers with autism and can lead to full-time employment. It’s one of several such programs that companies around the U.S. have launched in a tight job economy with fewer job seekers. (Subscription required to access article.)
What it means for you: People with disabilities are a large, untapped labor pool that more and more companies are looking at to fill positions. This piece shows that it’s a strategic time to launch a disability inclusion initiative. Understood can help you.
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About the author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.