Visionary Employers “See the Light”: Disability Hiring

An increasing number of employers are beginning to “see the light” with regards to hiring people with disabilities.

Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability, has posted an article in the Huffington Post,  Retailers Can Learn From Each Other When it Comes to Disability Hiring, where she highlights the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and how some employers are stepping up.

In a race for talent, companies are now realizing that people with disabilities are a largely untapped pool that, as a result, has seen unemployment rates remain stubbornly high when compared to the general population. So when an employer the size of Starbucks plants a flag and says it is going to make this a priority, others are likely to follow.

Galzer provides examples of how retail giants like Starbucks and Walgreens have created initiatives to hire people with disabilities, whose talents bring extraordinary contributions to the workforce.

My experience has been that this kind of an effort only succeeds if it is backed by a strong leader who chooses to make disability hiring a priority. That was certainly the case at Walgreens, where former executive Randy Lewis, whose son is autistic, spearheaded one of the most successful disability-hiring initiatives in recent years. At Starbucks, that person is Deverl Maserang, who heads up the company’s global supply chain organization. For leaders like Randy or Deverl, this is not about charity. It’s actually quite the opposite. They need talented men and women who can perform at high levels of productivity. They’ve simply decided not to allow the typical stereotypes to stand in their way of finding outstanding employees who can contribute to the overall success of their organizations.

Glazer praises the accomplishments resulting from the ADA and recognizes that in the work world, there is still much to do.  She encourages employers everywhere to look at these models and follow suit.

Read the article in its entirety at here.

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