WACOSA is a non-profit organization that was initially started by parents to support their children. Today, WACOSA serves over 575 adults with disabilities in central MN. Our mission is to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to work and live in their community.
Since we began our work, we have noticed that some businesses can be reluctant to hire people with disabilities. Some may be worried about changes and liabilities that they think will come with hiring a person with disabilities. These worries are usually rooted in inexperience—hiring a person with disabilities is not unlike hiring any new employee. There will be an adjustment period, but it doesn’t last long.
Some common concerns businesses have about hiring employees with disabilities (and reasons why hiring them is beneficial) are listed below:
Concern: My insurance rates will go up.
Many businesses have concerns that if they hire someone with a disability their insurance costs will go up. A survey of human resource managers by Cornell University has proven that companies’ health, life, and disability insurance costs actually rarely go up as a result of hiring people with disabilities.
Concern: How will hiring an employee with disabilities affect other employees?
Hiring a new employee and wondering if they will fit in or get along with the others is always a concern. It might be uncomfortable at first depending upon your current workers’ experience in socializing with people with disabilities, but it usually doesn’t last very long. It actually has been reported that current employees work harder and are more productive after having people with disabilities in their work environment. There really is no difference in how you would communicate with a person with a disability. The reality is that the person with a disability wants to have the same conversations and be treated the same as every other employee.
Concern: What if it doesn’t work out?
It is never easy to terminate an employee, especially if the employee has a disability. If a person with a disability starts to experience problems down the road, an employer shouldn’t fear termination. If the employee isn’t able to do the work or make corrections to their performance, it is within your rights to terminate the employee, just as you would with anyone else.
Conclusion: Be the heart of positive change
Companies can make a real difference in the lives of others simply by giving them the chance to work. Be the leader who sincerely makes an effort to help a person with a disability. By doing so, you are not only assisting them in creating a better life, but you are also instigating change.
If you are interested in making a positive change in your workforce, WACOSA offers a great program called Staffing Your Business. We work with our clients and your business to find the best match for your job opening. We are committed to the highest standards in job training, coaching, and support for the individuals we train, providing a workforce you can truly rely on. Take theses concerns and tips into consideration during your next hiring process and be the heart of positive change.