What's the third largest market segment in the United States? The answer might surprise you. It's not a particular ethnicity, gender or age group. It's people with disabilities. The size of this population—54 million strong—surpasses Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans, as well as Generations X and Y. Add in their families, friends and associates, and you get a trillion dollars in purchasing power.
Want a slice? Any smart business owner would. As with any customer segment, one of the best ways to tap into the disability market is to ensure it is represented in your workforce. Employees with disabilities can help businesses understand and meet the needs of this important and expanding customer base. What's more, research shows that consumers both with and without disabilities favor businesses that employ people with disabilities, and that people with disabilities can provide your business with the flexible, innovative thinking required to give you a competitive edge in the 21st century.
Business Strategies that Work identifies promising employment strategies and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining, and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities. It is a guide for employers who want to ensure that their workplaces are truly diverse and inclusive. It is a valuable tool, with proactive and dynamic human resource strategies for employers who want to be successful in today's diverse and global markets. The strategies found here are used by employers who make a strong business case for employing people with disabilities. By identifying, adopting, and refining these effective and meaningful employment practices, you too can benefit from having a vibrant, diverse workforce.
These practices are organized into seven action areas:
- Lead the Way: Inclusive Corporate Culture
- Hire the Best: Talent Acquisition Practices
- Build the Pipeline: Outreach and Recruitment
- Ensure Productivity: Reasonable Accommodation Procedures
- Communication: External and Internal Communication of Company Policies and Practices
- Be Tech Savvy: Accessible Information and Communication Technology
- Grow Success: Accountability and Continuous Improvement Systems
Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion