Disabled workers can be a great asset to any company. There are many advantages that hiring a disabled employee can bring. In an ideal world, there would be no distinction made between an able bodied and a disabled worker. Remembering the advantages can help bring that ideal world a little closer to reality.
When a disabled person applies for a job with a company, the first thing an employer should do is look at what the individual can do. Being disabled does not mean that a person is incapable of doing everything. Usually it means that the individual has a limited ability to do some things.
If the disabled person has the skills that are required for the vacancy, then there should be no reason why they cannot be invited to interview. The reputation of the company can be enhanced once it is known that it employs disabled workers. It shows that the company is modern and forward thinking, and this kind of ethos will appeal to other skilled workers.
It is often assumed that hiring disabled workers brings with it extra expense for the company. Many people fear that hiring a disabled worker will mean having to improve disabled access around the building. This is only likely to be true for those with a disability that prevents them from walking. However, if building work is required, it is possible that your local authority may be willing to contribute to the costs. There may also be government help available to allow building improvements to be made.
Disabled people are usually very keen to work. The desire to be self-supporting can be extremely strong in those who have to rely on friends, family or carers for many other things. As long as there are no health issues that are likely to mean repeated absence, disabled workers will often make more of an effort to be in work on time.
As well as being reliable, disabled workers can bring a greater attention to detail than other workers. The loss of one ability can often mean an increased ability in another area. Equally, where an able bodied employee may need to get up and move around during their shift on a production line, a disabled worker in a wheelchair will not need to do this.
Workers who are partially or fully deaf are likely to know sign language. For those in a customer-facing position, this added skill can be very valuable. Customers who are also hard of hearing my favour the business with their custom once they are aware of a sign language fluent worker on the premises.
One final advantage of employing disabled workers is the effect it can have on your existing staff. Having a disabled colleague can make individuals aware of wider issues faced by disabled people in society. Developing an understanding of others is a key skill in business, and can help your workers to listen more closely, pay attention to others and to be more considerate overall.