First and foremost, the answer is because it makes good business sense. Currently, there is full employment in the country and in order for your business to grow, you will need workers who are qualified, dependable, and be an asset to the company. However if you have never recruited, hired, or worked with a person with a disability you probably have lots of questions which creates a hesitation in hiring people with disabilities. Here are several major questions and concerns business leaders have reported as reasons they were reluctant to hire people with disabilities.
Your fears and concerns are important and shared by lots of businesses, but let us share some information that will show why they are unfounded. Here are some answers to your question. Studies have shown that more than half of the accommodations cost less than $500 and over 80% cost less than $1,000. Approximately 20% cost nothing at all. In addition there are resources available to help with some of the accommodations as well as several tax credits that will assist the removal of architectural barriers to your workplace. Remember, if a person needs an accommodation and it is an undue hardship for your business it does not have to be implemented. Even if you don't hire individuals with disabilities, the easier it is for people with disabilities who live in your community as well as the aging citizens to access your business, the more profit your company will enjoy. It is important to note that people with disabilities represent a major market who have needs like other customers. They have substantial buying power.
Many businesses express fear and concern that if they hire workers with disabilities the companies insurance costs will go up. A survey of human resource managers, conducted by Cornell University, has found that companies' health, life and disability insurance costs rarely rise because of hiring employees with disabilities. However, attitudinal stereotypes about people with disabilities are still pervasive in the workplace, causing them to be hired less and fired more than workers without disabilities.
Your concern about your other employees is one that every good manager or owner needs to consider in hiring any new employee. Depending upon your other workers experiences with working or socializing with people with disabilities, they may be uncomfortable at first, but usually this doesn't last very long. Most of the time, you need to make sure your other workers are not trying to assist the person with a disability too much. It has been reported by a number of employers that having persons with disabilities in the work environment causes other employees to work harder and be more productive.
This concern has been asked by many businesses. The issue of a person with a disability experiencing performance problems which might lead to termination is an issue that many employers fear. It is never easy to terminate someone from a job, however if the employee is not able to do the work and after efforts have been made to correct the performance but without results, you are within your rights to terminate the employee with a disability just as you would any other employee.
One of the biggest fears expressed by people is what do I do when I meet and interview someone with a disability. What is the proper etiquette? What do I say? Do I offer my hand? Do I move furniture? What if I make a Mistake or say something stupid? All of these are normal feelings when you first meet someone with a disability. However, the more contact you have with people with disabilities and the more interviews you conduct, the more comfortable you will become in dealing with people with disabilities. There are certain etiquette tips that can be provided to you and other businesses as well as training opportunities for interviewing applicants with disabilities. If you make a mistake, just shake it off and move on. We are all humans and make mistakes. The applicant with a disability will understand.
Source: VCU - RRTC on Workplace Supports