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Challenge to Fortune 500 CEO’s Hire More People with Disabilities in 2013

Challenge to Fortune 500 CEO’s Hire More People with Disabilities in 2013

As a New Year approaches, Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), is challenging our nation’s Fortune 500 CEOs to consider an entirely new approach to their New Year’s resolutions: Hire more people with disabilities in 2013. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, NOD promotes the full participation of America’s 56 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life.

“New Year’s resolutions are largely personal aspirations, often tied to our health or our family,” said Glazer. “I wonder if we might be more successful in keeping our pledges if they were bigger than ourselves. So this year, I’m challenging our Fortune 500 CEOs to resolve to hire more people with disabilities. It’s a commitment to the diversity in our country. But more importantly to your CFO, it will boost your bottom line.”

Glazer notes that America is facing an impending workforce crisis as Baby Boomers age and retire. By 2030, roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be aged 65 and older, and America will need millions of new workers to take the place of retirees in the workforce. Yet, according to the latest NOD/Kessler Foundation Survey of Americans with Disabilities, 80 percent of people with disabilities are not working.

“Companies across the country have begun to realize that hiring talented candidates with disabilities is good for business,” added Meg O’Connell, NOD’s Vice President, Corporate Programs. “A diverse workforce is a strong workforce. And the disability market, which includes customers with disabilities and their spheres of influence, represents $1 trillion in disposable income worldwide.  In this country specifically, people with disabilities control $247 billion in disposable income and represent a consumer population equal to the size of the U.S. Hispanic market. People with disabilities are an untapped talent resource, and one that businesses should prioritize in 2013.”

Glazer says for most employers, taking the first steps can be intimidating. But there are three things CEOs can do today to empower their human resources manager to get started:

  1. Check to see if your corporate materials – such as website, career pages and recruiting materials – discuss disability as a diversity group.
  2. Ask your recruiters if they have relationships with disability organizations to source talent. If they don’t, have them get started.
  3. Set hiring targets for persons with disabilities just as you do for other diversity groups.

NOD’s innovative Bridges to Business program has a proven track record of helping C-Suite executives successfully launch diversity programs. NOD helps employers to effectively recruit, hire, train, and retain jobseekers with disabilities. Bridges to Business also assists agencies that provide job training and placement services to jobseekers with disabilities in working more effectively with businesses.

“America’s Fortune 500 CEOs – frankly, all CEOs – are in a position to do something truly meaningful in 2013,” added Glazer. “And it’s not based in altruism, but rather good business sense. Consider it a New Year’s resolution worth keeping.”

Does your company have a program in place to promote hiring of disabled veterans?  or other individuals with a disability?  Share your success stories with the ResumeBear team and we’ll feature your company’s success with our readers!

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4 comments

  1. Hiring individuals with disabilities is not only good civic policy, it makes good business sense. In Pennsylvania, Giant Food Stores hires numerous individuals with disabilities to perform various responsibilities such as shopping cart maintenance and other manual duties. I’ve found these employees, for the most part, to be happy and productive and a very important part of the Giant organization.

  2. In re-reading this post, I realized the greatest disability, one that CEOs neglect to factor in when hiring people, is the attitude disability.

    Not many of us have jobs that bring us lasting satisfaction, yet we need money to have the things we want and need (note: wants and needs are seldom the same). However, we are getting paid, even though we may not feel it is enough at times, so we should give 100% to doing the job as best we can.

    In today’s society we can often find ourselves trapped in a job we don’t enjoy, yet need to money to keep us in the lifestyle we have been programmed to believe we need. If this describes you, then for this year, 2013, live on one third less and save that third. At the end of the year you will be amazed at the amount you have saved and at how much more joy you will experience in your life.

  3. It might have been good for the author to have defined what “disability” is as when that word is used many different images come up for different people.

    People in a position to hire someone needs to look at what a person can do for the company and not look at what the person looks like. I have known people who look 100% non-disabled, yet by their work ethic, I can see that they are in fact disabled – disabled in the way they look at doing the job they were hired to do.

    Hire the best person for the job and not the person who you perceive will make you look good initially.

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