Bridging the Employment Gap

Individuals with Disabilities: An Untapped Resource

The success of the Walgreens Distribution Center in Anderson, SC demonstrates the business case of an inclusive workforce.  Over 30% of their employees have one or more disabilities.  They do the same work, make the same pay, and are held to the same standards as their employees without disabilities.  Walgreens reports their employees with disabilities are more efficient, loyal, and experience less turnover and absenteeism than their non-disabled workers.  

Diverse and Work Ready:
The employment rate for working age individuals in South Carolina who reported one or more disabilities in 2013 was 31.5% compared to 76.8% for individuals without a disability.   This represents a diverse and work ready pool of candidates capable of filling positions across the employment spectrum from the factory floor to the corporate office.

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Disability Employment Rate

Resources:  Local – State – Federal
There are many resources at the local, state, and federal level regarding disability employment.  Please take a look at the menu at the top right of this page.  If you are unable to find what you are looking for or have questions, please contact Mike Teachey at mike.teachey@greenvillecan.org.

Myth vs. Fact: 
Individuals with disabilities may be the best workers few people know about.  Employers too often overlook qualified candidates with disabilities based on false assumptions and inaccurate information.

MYTH

FACT

Providing job accommodations for people with disabilities is expensive.

Business woman in wheelchair

The majority of workers with disabilities do not need accommodations to perform their jobs, and for those who do, the cost is usually minimal. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, 57% of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest typically cost only $500. Moreover, tax incentives are available to help employers cover the costs of accommodations, as well as modifications required to make their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities.

  • NO COST 57%
  • $500 43%

MYTH

Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities.

FACT

Studies show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities and in fact have a high retention rate when compared to people without disabilities.

MYTH

People with disabilities do not have the knowledge, skills, and abilities for the positions I am trying to fill.

FACT

According to the American Community Survey (ACS), there are 2.3 million working age adults with disabilities who have a Bachelor’s degree or higher; an additional 2.2 million are currently in college.  Many others have vocational training and relevant prior work experience.

MYTH

Hiring people with disabilities will increase workers’ compensation rates.

FACT

Workers’ compensation costs are based solely on the type of business operations and loss history and not on the demographics of employees.

Source:  Employer Assistance and Resource Network