To help build your business case for hiring people with disabilities, it’s important to consider the scope of talent your business could be missing out on without a disability inclusion program.

Take a look at these statistics around the employment of people with disabilities – you’ll see compelling reasons why implementing disability inclusion in your workforce is great for business, from talent acquisition to customer outreach. 

Disability Worldwide:

    • 1 billion: The number of people on the planet with disabilities.
    • $1 trillion dollars: The market opportunity they represent.

Disability in America:

Disability in America: 56 million people in the United States have disabilities
    • 56 million: The approximate number of people with disabilities in the United States:
    • 30%: The approximate number of U.S. families that have at least one member with a disability.
    • 10%: The approximate percentage of U.S. families that have at least one child with a disability.

Social and Business Impact:

Business and Social Impact: People with disabilities in the United States have an annual discretionary spending power of $220 billion
    • $220 billion: People with disabilities in the United States have an annual discretionary spending power of $220 billion, which does not take into account family, friends and supporters.
    • 87%: of consumers said they “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they would prefer to give their business to companies that employ people with disabilities.
    • 20%: of workers will experience a disability lasting one or more years during their professional lives, and the rate accelerates when employees pass their mid-forties.

Untapped Labor Source:

In 2013, 18.7% of persons with a disability were employed. The employment population ratio for persons without a disability was 68.3%


With the Baby Boomer generation retiring, people with disabilities are the largest untapped labor source, and their unemployment rate is high relative to the broader population. In 2013:

    • 18.7% of persons with a disability were employed.
    • 68.3 %: the employment-population ratio for persons without a disability.

As you can see, there is a significant population of people with disabilities who are potential partners for your business, whether as talent, customers, or both. Even more, building an inclusive workforce is not just good for your future hires with disabilities, but good for retaining the talent you already have (whether they develop a disability in the future or no).

And rest assured – misperceptions of employees with disabilities are demonstrably untrue; employees with disabilities are not only held to the same standards as their non-disabled counterparts, but managers often find they’re more likely to exceed them.


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