Disabled people offer a vast assortment of skills and talents and make great employees. Having a disabled person as an employee brings many benefits to a business.
Firstly, it brings a different perspective and range of ideas to the table, provides a first-hand insight into how to make your products/services more accessible, and improves your company image as a diversity-friendly employer. It has been reported that disabled employees are more hard-working and loyal than non-disabled staff, due to other employers overlooking them in the employment process. This means attracting and employing these job seekers would be a great asset to your business.
But how do you attract disabled job seekers to your business?
By increasing flexibility concerning working hours and location, you are providing a job opportunity that is possibly more suited to disabled people, in comparison to the traditional 9-5, office-based role. Allowing disabled employees to work from home offers many benefits for both you as an employer and them as an employee. The disabled employee can work effectively in an environment already adapted to their needs; they won’t have to navigate potentially problematic transport to and from work and also, they will be able to attend any medical appointments with greater ease. The benefits to you as an employer include having a happy and productive employee that is contributing effectively to your business success.
By promoting accessibility through all stages of the recruitment process, from job applications to continual support when working as an employee, disabled people will feel more included and valued by the business. Examples of promoting accessibility include ensuring your website is user friendly for those with disabilities, encouraging the accompaniment of a communication support worker in an interview if necessary, and providing a workspace adapted to meet the needs of the disabled employee. This could include providing a specialist chair, installing assistive technology on their computer or adjusting lighting around the desk for those with light sensitivities. Furthermore, as an employer, you can access funding from the government that will cover the costs of any additional support required for a disabled employee in the workplace.
Provide work experience opportunities to young, disabled people
Supported internships are a great way to provide opportunities for young, disabled people who are just starting their careers. These give chances for young people with learning difficulties to gain valuable experience and skills within the workplace. With only 7% of people with learning difficulties in employment, it is an issue that needs addressing. Disability specialist Remploy has a scheme whereby they design a training programme for the young person that is tailored to your business to meet your specific needs, alongside providing a Job Coach for the duration of the internship.
Where possible, besides providing work experience, supported internships aim to provide an opportunity for a young person to move into paid employment after completion of the programme. A benefit of this to you as an employer will be not having to go out and actively recruit a disabled person to fill the vacant role.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of employing a disabled person or would like to explore the possible funding available to you as an employer, visit our Careers with Disabilities site.