Despite the many positive attributes they bring to a job, the unemployment rate for people with a learning disability is incredibly high. Gallup and the University of Massachusetts Boston report that only 34 percent of all developmentally disabled individuals are employed. That is a tremendous waste of talented, eager individuals looking to gain independence, learn a new skill and socialize. If you’re looking to hire a new employee, here are just a few of the reasons you should consider someone with a developmental disability.
It boosts diversity.
A healthy job environment is created by hiring people of different backgrounds, beliefs, and abilities. Hiring someone with a developmental disability has been proven to increase productivity and creativity because they offer a unique perspective on problem solving.
They want to succeed.
A survey of more than 1,000 employers of people with disabilities said those with disabilities were more dedicated to the company, sought additional responsibilities and came in earlier than employees without a disability.
They have staying power.
Unlike their job-hopping peers, young people with learning disabilities were more likely to stay at one job for an average of 6 years. And because retention rates among people with disabilities are higher than average, employers spend less time and money hiring and training new employees.
People with developmental disabilities are less likely to call out, take sick days or arrive late than their co-workers without a disability.
They’re an inspiration to others.
In addition to a better bottom line, employers have witnessed better camaraderie as an effect of hiring someone with a disability. Employers have said that co-workers are more open to taking suggestions and had higher levels of overall happiness.
Customers like them.
Customers respond well to companies that encourage diversity and acceptance in the workplace. A survey conducted by the Illinois Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity revealed that 93 percent of customers in the state preferred to purchase from a company that employed individuals with disabilities.
Are you or someone you know looking to find your path on the way to success while having a learning disability? Debra Solomon of Spectrum Strategies helps young adults with autism and other learning disabilities identify their strengths and weaknesses to help find a job that best fits them!