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You Can Recruit Reliable Workers, Regardless of Current Economic Conditions
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Introduction: The DuPont Studies and America's Growing Workforce

Illustration: This IT Professional answers a client's questions.According to the Census Bureau, more than one in five Americans are disabled today. Furthermore, the U.S. population is getting older, and Americans are living longer than ever before in history. And today more than 53% of America's "senior" population have at least one disabling condition.

At this point in time, hiring seniors and people with disabilities is no longer simply an act of "good will" (as some business managers used to believe). It has become absolutely essential to corporate success in today's marketplace.

As the U.S. population continues to grow, business efforts toward full utilization of these often overlooked sources of labor is proving to be an increasingly important economic factor in the successful expansion of the American Workforce.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many employers used to be hesitant to hire Seniors or Disabled Americans because some have believed older workers or those with disabilities might have trouble keeping up with the fast pace of the 21st century business world.

Over the years, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) has commissioned several studies on the reliability of its workers, both disabled and non-disabled. Recently DuPont has published the results of these studies. DuPont's findings clearly dispel many common myths that had made many employers reluctant to hire disabled personnel in the past.

DuPont Study Series on Worker Reliability, Summary of Findings:
Myth:
Hiring employees with disabilities might increase a company's insurance rates or its workers' compensation costs.
Fact:
Insurance rates and workers' compensation costs are based solely on the relative hazards of the company's operation and their previous on-the-job accident rate, and NOT on whether new hires have disabilities.
Myth:
Employees with disabilities might tend to have a higher absentee rate than their non-disabled counterparts.
Fact:
Studies by firms such as DuPont have shown that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.
Myth:
Persons with disabilities are "inspirational", "courageous", and "brave" for being able to overcome their disability.
Fact:
Persons with disabilities are simply carrying on normal activities of living when they drive to work, go grocery shopping, pay their bills, or compete in athletic events.
Myth:
Persons with disabilities will need to be "protected" from job-related failure.
Fact:
Persons with disabilities have a right to participate in the full range of human experiences, including success and failure. Employers should have similar expectations of — and work requirements for — all doing the same job.
Myth:
Persons with disabilities might be unable to meet performance standards, thus making them a bad employment risk.
Fact:
In 1990, DuPont conducted a survey of 811 employees with disabilities and found 90% rated average or better in job performance compared to 95% for employees without disabilities. A similar 1981 DuPont study which involved 2,745 employees with disabilities found that 92% of employees with disabilities rated average or better in job performance compared to 90% of employees without disabilities. The 1981 study results were comparable to DuPont's 1973 job performance study.
Myth:
Persons with disabilities might have problems getting to work.
Fact:
Persons with disabilities are capable of supplying their own transportation by choosing to walk, use a car pool, drive, take public transportation, or a cab. Their modes of transportation to work are as varied as those of any other employees.
Myth:
Persons who are deaf might be ideal employees in noisy work environments.
Fact:
Loud noises of a certain vibratory nature can cause further harm to the auditory system. Persons who are deaf should be hired for all jobs that they have the skills and talents to perform. No person with a disability should be prejudged regarding employment opportunities.
Myth:
Considerable expense is necessary to accommodate workers with disabilities.
Fact:
Most workers with disabilities require no special accommodations, and the cost for those who do is minimal or much lower than many employers believe. Studies by the President's Committee's Job Accommodation Network have shown that 15% of accommodations cost nothing, 51% cost between $1 and $500, 12% cost between $501 and $1,000, and 22% cost more than $1,000.
Myth:
Employees with disabilities might be more likely to have accidents on the job than their non-disabled counterparts.
Fact:
In the 1990 DuPont study, the safety records of both groups were identical.


Take Advantage of the Talent and Diversity That Abounds in the Disability Community:
The most recent data from the Office of Disability Economic Policy (ODEP) shows that an ever increasing number of disabled people are graduating from college with valuble skills, that disabled workers have mental retention and comprehension rates comparable to those of non-disabled workers, and that almost half of all accomodations for disabled employees cost nothing. According to the same ODEP studies, those accommodations that do cost something average less than $600 — which is a minimal investment for an experienced worker.

Several subgroups of disabled Americans who are often seeking employment:

College-Educated People with Disabilities
Aging Baby Boomers
Seniors
Disabled Veterans
People with Cognitive or Developmental Disabilities

Obviously, America's disabled community includes people who come from diverse backgrounds, and who can provide a wide variety of valuable skills to business. The next page includes examples and Case Studies that show why hiring disabled workers is ... simply good business.


Please continue ...
Next: The Proven Dependability of Disabled Workers>>>

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