Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

When we talk about hiring people with disabilities, we are also discussing the broader issues of labor shortages, diverse hiring practices, and the social reactions to an impairment. Therefore, it is of importance to note that the reported benefits of hiring as referenced by the sources included in this summary are not comprehensive and do not necessarily reflect all aspects of these broad issues. What is represented, however, is a list of valid benefits to businesses who hire veterans and other individuals with disabilities.

Statistics and findings from studies conducted from 1998 through 2010 - along with anecdotal observations and best practice experiences realized from our consulting efforts clearly speak to the business opportunities surrounding the hiring of qualified candidates with disabilities.

Today, we can take pride in the progress that has been made regarding hiring practices for people with disabilities. Since the ADA was passed and benefits for hiring people with disabilities were first cited, many general ‘feel good’ statements or other somewhat exaggerated financial benefits were often used to build enthusiasm surrounding employment and disability. The 2009 passage of the ADA Amendments Act shows Congress’ intent to ensure greater ‘accommodation’ for a larger, more clearly defined group of Americans with disabilities. (more information on ADA Amendments available on our home page –

This started during a time in our country, just 20 years ago when even qualified candidates with disabilities were often screened OUT of the hiring process. Now, through sophisticated recruiting processes, technology enhancements, access to education and training, along with more nuanced and available financial incentives - businesses can now access enough data and information to comfortably hire employees who need different supports.

Because hiring managers like predictable results, here are some predictable benefits to expect in today’s market when hiring a qualified candidate with a disability. Benefits of Hiring include:

  1. Increased hiring pool.
  2. Positively impacts the retention of existing employees.
  3. ROI - Tax and other financial incentives including productivity benefits.
  4. Reduced cost of employee benefits available.
  5. Increased diversity.
  6. Response to an aging workforce.
  7. Increased work ethic/dedication.
  8. Enhanced staff morale.
  9. New look at creativity and problem solving.
  10. Becoming poised for future preference in Government Contracting.

Reference materials:

Benefits list derived from The Sierra Group’s consulting history in the area of disability and employment in America and via input gathered from our Foundation’s Employment Incentives web portal.

Financial benefits of hiring:

Personalized consultation or recruiting services available via:

Learn at Your Desk Teleseminars by The Sierra Group:

Additional studies relevant to this topic include:

Project EARN Market Research Report

EARNWorks Employer Business Case

US Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy (January 2005 report).

USDOL’s Project EARNWorks Business Case.

US Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Disability Employment 101 publication (July 25, 2006).

Workplace Accommodations RERC Policy Delphi Study: Barriers and Opportunities Overview. (2007). Paul M.A. Baker, Ph.D., AICP, Workplace Accommodations RERC /Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP); Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.

General information along with web links and Q & A on workplace accommodations available via Job Accommodation Network –