Each employee brings something new to the table, and for that purpose, diversity is vital. This includes people with any kind of disabilities. While the laws set in the ADA legally protect people with disabilities and prohibit any discrimination against them, the importance and reasons to provide disabled people an equal opportunity goes beyond that.
We consulted people working with disabled people and going straight to the core- we talked with the people actually facing the disabilities to get more perspective. Here we compiled all the reasons it is crucial to provide equal opportunities to all.
1. Strengthens Our Communities and Workplaces
One of the most undervalued ways in which full inclusion of individuals with disabilities strengthens our communities and workplaces is that it allows everyone to bring their entire selves to the table. This is especially true for individuals with invisible disabilities, who might otherwise be tempted or coerced to hide these characteristics within certain settings—providing an environment where one’s identity can be fully expressed and accepted spurs creativity, insight, and understanding.
Daniel Hodges, J.D. President & Co-founder of the Nonprofit, Peaces of Me Foundation is dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding disability and chronic illness.
2. People Become Assets Rather Than Burdens To Society
I have been in a wheelchair since May 1979 due to paralysis caused by a broken neck. Yet, despite my disability, I enjoyed a career. This self-worth comes with being a successful member of society, and I paid my fair share of taxes instead of collecting disability. I started along this path before the technology existed that allowed everyone to work at home. I was afforded the opportunity thanks to ADA and many people willing to give me an opportunity to prove myself.
I use the subways and buses in NYC, the ramps and elevators in hotels, office buildings, and places of business. I’ve flown around the world to countries where accessibility wasn’t a priority, and it helped me realize how fortunate I am to live and work in the United States. Even recreational opportunities afforded to me, such as rail trails, wheelchair tennis tournaments, accessible boardwalks by the beach, concerts, movies, festivals, and lectures have helped me become a more rounded person professionally and personally.
The benefits to me personally are immense, but they are equally as great to society. By granting access and opportunity, people like myself become assets rather than burdens to society. We pay taxes, not rely on the taxes of others. We create wealth and spend it, benefiting our economy. We become better partners, lovers, friends, and colleagues. Just as our life becomes enriched by those who enter it, being given the opportunity to engage with the broader world allows others to be enriched by what we have to offer. My growth professionally and personally is attributed to the good fortune I had to experience the world around me.
Daniel Odescalchi, Co-author of Handbook of Political Marketing He is a public relations consultant and President of SAIPR.
3. They Are Capable of Performing The Same Roles As Anyone Else
If given the chance & opportunity, disabled people can do the same job as any other person that may be employed. The main difference that we need is to learn how to do the job our way, not arrogant presumption, just reality, what’s easiest for us to accomplish and sometimes a bit longer to complete. Additionally, we’ll need the necessary equipment to do the job, such as JAWS for the computer (which is the way I’m typing now).
There are innumerable jobs that are suited for those that are disabled, including security. On the other hand, it’d be difficult for any disabled person to lift 100lbs. and load trucks without assistance. All we ask is that we be given a chance to show our knowledge & experience to an employer to show them that we want to contribute to the company and bottom line.
Robert Sollars, a security professional with nearly 40 years of experience in the field, 18 after going blind. Robert owns and operates a workplace/school violence training & consulting company, Violence Prevention Training & Consulting, and has also published four books since going blind.
4. Sense of Satisfaction, Accomplishment and Social Freedom for The Disabled
There are necessary advantages in hiring a person with a disability. People with disabilities would have a sense of satisfaction and honor to be working. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public.
The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The people with a disability have the capability and appetite to work. There needs to be an aspect of diversity in the workplace. Giving jobs to a person with a disability will bring them social freedom that they might not have a chance to if they don’t have a job.
As a person with some disabilities myself, it was hard applying for jobs since some require you to take a test to be hired, which sometimes is hard for me because some questions were the same and just worded differently. More companies should hire people with a disability as the social security checks don’t really cover much of the bills that we have to pay per month.
Darrelle Radcliff, California country girl disabled college student, Actor/Model, tennis player!
5. Win-Win For Both The People and The Businesses/Communities
Because it’s the right thing to do, simply put, equality is an important value for society.
Not only that, but companies with disabled employees tend to be more creative in what they offer their customers due to the perspective of equality. It also increases profit in businesses and makes communities more sustainable which in turn reduces unemployment rates among people with disabilities.
Further studies have shown that inclusion of people with disabilities through workplace programs is critical if we want to foster an inclusive culture where there are opportunities for everyone.
Robin Brown, CEO at VIVIPINS
6. Inspire And Give Hope To Others, Their Abilities & Skills In The Job Are Valuable
We all desire this kind of thing when we talk about opportunity, regardless of what or who we are. Giving disabled persons equal opportunity in various spheres of work and life has a significant impact on a person’s life since this opportunity does not come along every day.
As a business owner, I believe that providing disabled people with equal opportunities is essential because I know and believe that these people are capable of something, whether at work or in life. Because of their challenges, these disabled people inspire and give hope to others. They can serve as an example for other impaired people to keep going in life.
Giving these people an equal chance at work is also the finest move any owner can make because demonstrating that you as an owner are capable of providing equal opportunities to all people, regardless of their situation, can result in higher employee morale and a more efficient workplace. Providing them with opportunities to use their abilities and skills in the job is also valuable.
It is not all about a person’s physical appearance, whether he appears weak or powerful. Character and abilities are the only things that matter because possessing these two can turn life and business around.
Dan Belcher, Founder and CEO at Mortgage Relief